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Monday, October 13, 2014

Geek with a lot of time on his hands calculated how much Calvin & Hobbes cost Calvin’s parents in damages

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that it costs parents somewhere in the vicinity of $250,000 to raise a child through the age of 17. This includes everything from food and housing down to toothbrushes and coloring books.

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What the projected expense does not include, however, is how much it costs to replace things that kids ruin — repainting crayoned walls, buying new dishes when they break, replacing the garage door because the teen doesn’t really know how to drive very well yet.

These costs add up and yet they don’t get a line in the budget. Matt J. Michel, editor at Proceedings of the Natural Institute of Science, decided to estimate this number for the rest of us.

And since no one documents these costs as they raise kids, he decided to use Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes (wiki) as his test subject, assuming that Calvin — inventively wild as he was — would be a reasonable worst-case scenario for the rest of us to base our budgeted damages on.

Michel then went through the complete collection of Calvin and Hobbes comics and noted every bit of damage caused by Calvin or Hobbes that Bill Watterson actually portrayed or specifically mentioned.

Over the course of his decade as a 6-year-old, Calvin caused an estimated $15,955.50 in damage. To break it down a bit more, Calvin cost his parents, on average, $1,850.55 per year.

Along with his results, Michel notes…
It should be reiterated that Calvin is presented as a worst-case scenario. If you believe your child does more than $1,850.55 in damage annually, then you may want to consider professional help, alternative forms of punishment, or, at the very least, take away their stuffed tiger.

Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Returns to the Comics Page (Briefly).

Calvin and Muad'Dib: Calvin and Hobbes goes really well with Dune.

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