So I'm watching the Presidential Inauguration and all I can think about is my late grandmother, and the day my father and I moved her ancient stove from the basement kitchen of her house in Brooklyn.
I'm thinking about that day because when we pulled out that stove that had died after cooking a million remarkable meals, there was a nickel behind it, gone green with all the time it had been lost back there.
And I'm thinking about that green nickel because when my grandmother saw it, she sighed and said: "All these years, it could have been earning interest."
Millie Carillo has been gone for a long time now, but her way of thinking lives on, and I know that if she'd been alive to see all that hoo-hah in Washington she would have shrugged her shoulders and said just two words:
I'll elaborate on her behalf.
With the country drowning in debt, why go through such a costly and excessive ceremony for a guy who already has the job?
Why couldn't Barack Obama simply have said:
"Look, people, times are tough. I took the oath four years ago, and I stand by it today -- so thanks for your support, and let me get back to work."
If that sounds negative and anti-American to you, well, you're wrong. It isn't.
It's anti-waste, and waste is the only sin I recognize. And I can't think of anything more wasteful than governmental celebrations financed by taxpayer dollars.
Forgive me if I sound cranky, but I've had a double-dose of this kind of foolishness -- my wife is British, and this past summer we were over there for the Queen's Jubilee celebration.
It was just as pompous and overblown as the Inauguration, and on top of that it rained throughout the whole damn thing.
I'm no angel. I'm guilty of the very thing I'm complaining about. I've been a newspaperman and a TV producer for most of my working life, so believe me, I've shoveled my share of horse manure in the name of circulation and ratings.
But enough is enough. I'm getting too old for this nonsense. My blood is turning to bile, and if you cut me, I'd bleed green.
As green as that nickel we found behind my grandmother's stove.
Charlie Carillo is a TV producer for the show "Inside Edition." His novels "Shepherd Avenue," "My Ride With Gus," "Found Money," "God Plays Favorites" and "The Man Who Killed Santa Claus: A Love Story" are available on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents.