I, unlike many other women my age, am not a shopper. When I need something, I do the preliminaries, such as read the store circulars and search pricing, from the comfort of my home. When I finally go to the store, I want to get in, get what I need at a bargain price, and get out. All without too much fanfare and certainly with zero chitchat.
While I don’t like to shop, I do love a bargain. I take after my grandmother who was a frugal shopper. She was always looking for a bargain price on a dress that had big pockets and a zipper up the front so it wouldn’t break up her hair when she put it on. These days, in order to get the best bargain, I am forced to engage in the act of Q-poning. You know, when you use the printed piece of paper that replaces hard earned cash at the checkout counter to reduce the amount owed? Seems simple enough-cut the Q-pon, use it towards your purchase, and save money-but it never is. Oh, and according to the book Speaking American, I am one of the 31% of people in the United States who pronounces ‘coupon’ like Q-pon.
I am proud to say that when it comes to Q-pon shopping, I’m your huckleberry. I know to check the expiration date and for any time restrictions, because some are only good from 10AM-1PM on Saturday during the One-Day Sale that has a preview day on Friday, which actually makes it a two-day sale. I know that you can’t combine offers, that there are many exclusions, and lastly, that you cannot use a Q-pon on Bonus Buys.
I recently needed new sheets and towels-not exciting purchases, but things you just gotta have. I did the preliminaries, collected my Q-pons, and headed to the store. I found everything I wanted, avoided Bonus Buys, self-scanned the price to make sure I could use the best Q-pon in my collection, rechecked the fine print, and headed to the check out.
I approached the kiosk with two separate orders so that I could take full advantage of the Q-pons I was packing. Yes, I’m one of those. I showed my set of Q-pons to the Johnny Ringo and he showed me his. It was like a poker game in a smoky saloon as we bet on who had the better hand of discounts.
As he approached the register, I could hear the ring, ring, ring of his jingle bobs. I know what you’re thinking, but I learned that lingo from Cowboy Bob’s Dictionary rather than Urban Dictionary, so get you’re your mind out of the gutter. Once in place, he pulled out his six-shooter and began scanning one towel, then the next, then a washcloth, followed by a hand towel. After shooting the last item, he hit my Q-pon and then, like the shootout at O.K. Corral, he started gunning down every piece of paper in the local vicinity that had a bar code on it. Bang, bang, bang. I couldn’t keep up. I was like the innocent bystander hiding behind a wooden barrel on the front porch of the saloon hoping I wouldn’t get hit. Aisles emptied as others in town rushed for cover. Only one member of my posse remained to watch what he knew would be a showdown. What is happening here, I thought? I gave you the one Q-pon that I knew would work. Why are you tearing the place up like that? Face it-I have the better hand! And don’t you know, you can’t combine offers?
After the smoke settled, he announced the total due, but according to my calculations, he was wrong. Much to his chagrin, I had to ask for a rematch-not once, but twice. He was way too quick on the draw and while my hand was better, it was being overridden by the multiple offers he was firing into the system. Stop shooting up every coupon in the town, I thought! Just use the one I gave you! After all, I’m your huckleberry.