I used to say, ďA penny for your thoughts.Ē Not
anymore, though, because I need that money. In fact,
Iíve been pinching my pennies so hard that Lincolnís
nose oozes liquid copper. Forget putting in my two
cents. Every day I hope my car will stop on a dime so I
can pick it up. Money is the root of all happiness. When
you donít have it, you feel as low as the stock market.
Iím trying to save where I can. I donít buy stamps anymore.
When I want to mail something, I put the address
the person or the company Iím sending it to up in the
hand corner of the envelope. Then I just write a fake
address where youíd usually put the addresseeís info.
Then, and this is the key, I donít put a stamp on the envelope.
When it rolls into the post office,
the postal workers
the envelope has no stamp, figure Iím trying to pull a
one, and send it to the return address. Booya!
delivery gets to its destination, free of charge. Believe
me, Iím not as dumb as my brother looks.
Speaking of my brother, I recently had to borrow
$2,000 from him, and now the S.O.B. wants his money
back. I didnít realize paying him back was part of the
deal. Anyway, I finally got fed up with him badgering
me for money, and wrote him a check for two grand.
On the back of it, I wrote, ďGive me all your money. I
have a gun,Ē so when he went to deposit it at the bank,
well, letís just say I now have five years to pay him
backóunless he gets out for good behavior.
Over the last year, Iíve started clipping coupons, but
theyíre tricky because of all the stipulations. As a result,
Iíve developed a new disorder called ďcoupon rage.Ē
Tell me if this doesnít happen to you: You stumble
across a great coupon for a restaurant offering a buy-
one-entrťe/get-one-free deal. Damn, it looks so good.
You get excited. You perk up like a prairie dog. Your tail
starts to wag. Next thing you know, youíre spending an hour looking for the scissors, and then you spend another
hour cutting out the coupon, because itís
in the middle
of the page. Youíve
got your coupon and youíre in
heaven because youíre going to save, like, four
good to go. Life couldnít
go to use your coupon, and thatís
when they blindside
you with the bullcrap. It generally goes like this:
Snotty Waitress: Yeah, Iím sorry but that couponís not
good on Tuesday.
You: Yeah, but itís Wednesday.
Snotty Waitress: Oh yeah, youíre right. It is Wednesday.
I couldíve sworn it was Tuesday. Anyway, that couponís
not good Wednesdays either. Itís only good on Mondays,
Fridays and Veteranís Day.
So youíre angry and your feathers are ruffled, but you
can handle the let-down. Slightly embarrassed, you buy
a meal for you and your friend and vow to use the
coupon soon. Friday comes and you return to the restaurant
with your friend, looking to get
that extra meal for
price of one. The same waitress
is there to take your
beam as you hand her your faded coupon.
Snotty Waitress: You again. Yeah that couponís not valid
now. Itís only good between the hours of one and one-thirty.
You: Thatís not even an hour. Itís, like, half an hour.
Snotty Waitress: Yeah, sorry. I donít make the rules.
Another coupon let-down. They got you again. Your
feathers are now extremely ruffled. Youíre pissed. You
buy another meal for you and your friend. This coupon
is not helping you save money, but youíre determined to
use the freakiní thing. You go back the next Friday with
your friend at exactly 1:15 p.m., and order the most
expensive thing on the menu, hoping to offset the injustice.
finish your meal and, with all the confidence
a wedding singer,
hand the waitress your coupon.
Snotty Waitress: Wow. Yeah, you canít use this.
You: What theó
Snotty Waitress: Itís expired. Sorry.
Later that night, youíre arrested for burning down a
Dennyís. When all is said and done, youíve spent more
money than you would have if you had never run across
the stinking coupon in the first place.
After many, many coupon let-downs, one would think
Iíd learned my lesson. Such is not the case. Maybe Iím
just a hopeless dreamer. An eternal optimist. A coupon
fancier. Or maybe Iím just a cheap bastard. However, I
donít think anyone would ever call me that. Not to my
Most likely, I will continue to pursue
these elusive money-saving rituals. Next
weekend, some seductive coupon will
jump off the page and tease me. Iíll read
and re-read the tiny, fine print with my
magnifying glass, Iíll Google coupon
scams, and then Iíll run the coupon by
my lawyer for sneaky loopholes. But, in
the end, somehow, Iím going to get
coupon screwed and screwed hard. Thatís
just the dirty world of coupons.
Hear me, and hear me well. These alluring,
captivating coupons are the devilís
They even screw me over at the grocery
store. I spend all week looking for
knock-down coupon deals. I debate
hours whether I really need the items
the coupons. I eventually convince
that I do
need them, or that I will at
some point in life. (I still have some of
Tony Danzaís Grease Mousse from the
í70ís, which I got for 75 cents off.) Again,
I clip my coupons, stuff them into my
leather holder, and head off to the store for
Snotty Cashier: Yeah, you canít use that
coupon for those type of crackers. You
need to get the plain, unsalted, salmongrain-flavored
Me: Okay, where are they?
Snotty Cashier: We donít carry íem anymore.
Me: Yeah, but I have a coupon.
Snotty Cashier: Good for you. Look,
youíre holding up the line.
Me: Is the manager here?
Snotty Cashier: No, heís at his AA
meeting. Why donít you step aside and
stuff that crumbled cracker coupon up
your butt, you cheap bastard.
So Iím left standing outside, in the parking
lot, wondering what just happened. I
mistake me for a bum
hand me spare change. But I donít
an eye, because if someoneís
pay me pennies for my thoughts, Iíll
by Jeff Charlebois
"Ham on a Roll"
Excerpts from the Quincy Jones Issue Oct/Nov 2011:
Bruyère, PhD — Creating Possibilities at Cornell
Virginia Jacko, CEO — Blind Visionary
Quincy Jones — Renaissance Man and More
David Zimmerman — Sharing the Spotlight
Michelle Sie Whitten — Things Are Looking Up
Still Swinging — An Inside Look at Adaptive Golf
Workout DVD — First You Get Off the Couch
Humor Therapy — Coupons Are For Suckers
Articles in the Quincy Jones Issue; Humor — Coupons Are For Suckers;
Ashley Fiolek — 2011 Women’s Motocross Champ!; Sen. Tom Harkin — Working For More Jobs; Cinderella — A New Spin on an Old Tale; Still Swinging — An Inside Look at Adaptive Golf; Susanne Bruyère, PhD — Creating Possibilities at Cornell; Virginia Jacko, CEO — Blind Visionary; Meet the Biz — Actors Training Actors; PAWS/LA — The Sick and Elderly’s ‘Best Friend’; Quincy Jones — Renaissance Man and More; Michelle Sie Whitten — Things Are Looking Up; Workout Dvd — First You Get Off The Couch...; The Old Guard — A Change is Gonna Come; OCD — From Pain to Published Author; ABILITY's Crossword Puzzle; Events and Conferences... subscribe