Today I am going to peer into the future for your evening entertainment.
Wait. I need a crystal ball to do that. Hang on a second. Be right back.
Here we go.
Oh, wait. That one’s cracked. I can’t see anything in it. I need to check the other closet.
That’s better. I can see something coming through.
It looks like. . . wait. . . it’s getting clearer. . . here it comes. . .
The burning question for this evening for our crystal ball is this.
How many bows would it take to pay for a porta-potty for an entire year?
That involves math. And math, of course, is. . . let me hear it. . . all together now. . .
But we’ll try. (All figures here are approximate and rounded up to the nearest reasonable figure so we don’t have to work with enormous long fractions which are very scary indeed.)
A porta-potty costs $106 per month. That’s $1272 annually. That’s a lot of bows. A whole lot of bows.
But how many is it exactly?
Well, the answer to that is “it depends.” It depends on how much you can sell them for. I looked on Ebay to see what they sell for, and damn, it is all over the map. It depends on how big they are. The bigger, of course, the more they cost.
So, I just did a little averaging. (Look that up if you don’t know how to average. It’s math and it’s hard, but it’s so worth it.)
If you were able to sell an assortment of bows, say, all the bows offered on a particular website, one set per customer, at full price, you’d need to sell 5.4 sets of them to pay for a porta-potty for a whole year. That’s a lot of bows.
Yeah, a whole lot.
I counted to see how many it would be.
One thousand, three hundred and eighty bows.
Golly, how much time is that?
Well, I had no idea but I’ve been told that education is easy. All you have to do is go to YouTube and you can find anything you want. So I went to YouTube to see how long it takes to make dog bows.
And the answer is “it depends.”
It depends on what kind of bow. Simple ties take one minute or so (and I think that 90 seconds is a better estimate because the person in the video had all the supplies ready and had already cut and prepared the pieces). More elaborate flowers take at least two minutes, probably closer to 2 1/2 minutes because the “teacher” had everything pre-prepared.
So let’s be do some averaging and say 2 minutes per bow.
That’s 2760 minutes or 46 hours.
46 hours of non-stop work to make enough bows to sell to pay for a porta-potty for a whole year. More than a week’s labor, and that’s with no breaks or lunch or anything.
And of course, we are assuming here that all those 1380 pieces can be sold at full price without having to put them on sale.
But we have not factored in the cost of the materials.
I wasn’t exactly sure how to estimate material costs, but decided to give it a try, since you can learn anything on the internet, or at least, that’s what I’ve been told.
My guess is that you can get ribbon for 225 ties for about $20. Maybe a bit less if you don’t use grosgrain. For the flowers, I am going to guess they cost about $.25 each. They come in clusters and are taken apart, and if you find them on sale, it works out to about that. I am also going to assume that by buying in bulk, you can avoid shipping costs. That’s a big assumption and probably not true all the time.
Then there are extra bits of ribbon and little stickers and hot glue and those dental bands (package of 100 is about $5).
So let’s assume that you use one band on each bow. There are 1380 bows. That’s $69 worth of dental bands.
And let’s assume that half your bows are ties (unlikely, but let’s be optimistic here, and besides, all this math is hard), and half are flowers.
That’s 690 ties. We can get ribbon for 225 for around $20, so that’s approximately $60 for ribbon. That’s also 690 flowers which would come in at about $172.
Let’s see. That gives us a total about $300 just in basic materials. Let’s toss in another $25 for hot glue and assorted little crap that I haven’t thought of.
$325 in materials.
We make the customer pay shipping and make sure the shipping charges are high enough to also include packaging.
Well, that means that we have to make approximately 25% more bows in order to net enough money to pay for the porta-potty, or 1725 bows. It would also take about 11 additional hours, making a total of 57 hours.
Consider, of course, that we are talking about some seriously fast, very good labor here, working non-stop. We only are timing when the bows are being made, not when the workers are horsing around.
What else could you buy with $1272 if you simply didn’t have to pay for a porta-potty for whole year?
What could you do with $106 extra per month? Or an extra 5 hours?
Is it worth all that just to insist on flinging shit on the ground?