Coupon Rage

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 of the person or the company Iím sending it to up in the left 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 see the envelope has no stamp, figure Iím trying to pull a fast one, and send it to the return address. Booya! My 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 hog heaven because youíre going to save, like, four bucks. Youíre good to go. Life couldnít be better. Then you 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 the price of one. The same waitress is there to take your order. You 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. You finish your meal and, with all the confidence of 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 face, anyway.

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 toys. They even screw me over at the grocery store. I spend all week looking for some knock-down coupon deals. I debate for hours whether I really need the items on the coupons. I eventually convince myself 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 big savings.

Snotty Cashier: Yeah, you canít use that coupon for those type of crackers. You need to get the plain, unsalted, salmongrain-flavored ones.

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 mumble incoherently, cursing coupons. People walk by, mistake me for a bum and hand me spare change. But I donít bat an eye, because if someoneís willing to pay me pennies for my thoughts, Iíll take them!

by Jeff Charlebois

"Ham on a Roll"

Like article let people now in Facebook

Excerpts from the Quincy Jones Issue Oct/Nov 2011:

Susanne 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

social media

blog facebook twitter