don’t like to shop. I make no excuses or claims to the contrary, it’s just a fact. It is personal misery for me. So I do my best to plan, execute, get in, and get OUT. Sure price is VERY important, but meeting needs is primary in my world and given my physical limitations I will, on occasion make price trade-offs in that I’m willing to pay a few more dollars to save myself some anxiety, pain, sweat, stress, tears, blood, etc.
So yes, I keep an eye on advertising for decent sales and deals. I try to get certain items at certain places for certain occasions. All of this is to say that this week I stumbled upon a form of self-entertainment that came to me the other day while waiting in a checkout lane at a local grocery store. It was one of those moments that you feel only comes once in a great while. Haley’s comet, a Cubs’ World Series, a cure to a worldwide malady, whatever. I had one of those moments. This is a joke YOU can use on your own the next time your shopping! It’s easy and FUN! Honest!
As I stood in the long line of grocery shoppers with two in front of me and countless behind me, a joke popped into my head. If you know me at all, you know that I never pass on a joke opportunity. Never. As I looked over the aisles next to ours I saw the same situation. Lines of shoppers slumped over heaping shopping carts. Some were with spouses, leafing through People magazines, herding kids, sipping on $40/gallon lattes, wiping sweat from their brows. Others were gazing at all of the empty, unmanned rows with CLOSED signs at the top now realizing what those really were. Those checkout lanes were more advertising to get you come back or come at all. “Well with so many rows of checkout lanes, it has to be fast at that store!”, people mistakenly think or mis-remember (to quote a former MLB pitcher before a congressional committee) to themselves.
So, I turned to the senior citizen couple behind me and loudly asked them, “Say, have you seen that show Extreme Couponing?” I now know what Moses felt like at the parting of the Red Sea as heads from across this sea of retail inmates suddenly bounced in my direction with wide fearful eyes. The gentleman spoke for the couple and said, “I’ve heard about it but no, never seen it.” “Score!” I thought. See in his social world, hearing about something is his generation’s version of Facebook today. Nonetheless, I let the masses return to breathing when I replied in a way to let them all know I was not one of those extreme couponers. But, before they got back to their slumping I motioned over my shoulder with my eyes and a head bob that the lady in front of me was, well, maybe….
Then I laughed and smiled and indicated I was just joking letting them all off the hook. Everyone let out a sigh of relief with some chuckles.
Usual misery resumed, unabated.