Musings of an Englishman who literally quit his life in Devon in mid-2012 to move to Tijuana to love a girl.
They ended up in San Diego where he became a TV anchorman (yes really...), they got married, and now they're living in England together.
Simple as that really.
Follow your heart, who knows where it will lead.

Crazy. Beautiful. Madness.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

(Dis)count me out.

THE PROCESS of patiently waiting in line at a supermarket is something a Brit can empathize with.
It seems we’re a nation of queuers.
But here in California, despite the laid-back vibe of most folk, when it comes to queuing to buy food or ‘groceries’, Californians are impatient – at best.
So when you hear someone at the very front of a supermarket queue mutter the immortal line “wait, I’ve got a coupon for that” you know full well that people are going to be getting restless and a tad upset.
You see, having a ‘coupon’ for an item over here is like the equivalent of finding a golden Willy Wonka ticket.
To them it’s like winning the lottery. It’s the gold at the end of the rainbow. The real stuff of dreams.
That one ticket, franticly torn out of a newspaper or magazine, can bring sunshine to the darkest day. It can change lives.
To most here. Not me.

Not a 'coupon king'
And what does that ‘coupon’ get you…?
Maybe… say… $1 (£0.70) off the barbecue sauce you’ve waited your entire life to buy; $2 off that aromatherapy soap bar you’ve never intended to buy until now; or $0.25 (£0.13p) off a tin of dog food – and you don’t actually own a dog.
People hoard coupons like an ardent stamp collector… just in case one day they need to cash them in for something they’ve never really needed.

I can 'vouch' for the fact it's madness

(Dis)count me out

Ultimately, it seems that people do just that. They use the coupons to buy things they don’t actually need. And never will. Ever. Ever…
Sure, I like to save a couple of quid on groceries but jeez. Collecting these things seems to be a national past-time.
Is the whole nation like this? Or just Californians?!
A colleague of mine over here openly admitted he’s a coupon king – or to coin the phrase, a ‘couponer’.
Upon hearing a fellow co-worker had bought the Sunday paper at the weekend, another colleague ran up with a crazed look in her eyes and basically screamed “do you want your COUPONS?!”
Wow. I smirked. At least they’re giving me something to write about.
“You could have got a dollar off of that!” one person said to me recently as I paid for my shopping.
“Look, you just needed to buy this magazine…” (*cue woman thrusting said Woman’s Own-type magazine into my face).
“But… the magazine costs $2… that er, really doesn’t make any sense… does it…?”
“Oh, you’re a Australian… you don’t get it right?”
“Close… but no. And no... I clearly don’t.”
If you’re lucky, you choose a supermarket queue where the person left their coupon collection at home.
If you’re unlucky you get the person who’s waited their entire life for this one magical moment.
They even bring separate shopping bags full of collected coupons, and if they’ve forgotten something on the list which they have a voucher for, they make you wait while a member of staff goes to get it.
Is everyone stockpiling for something I don't know about? Have the coupon creators cashed in on North Korea's recent threats?
Of course, sometimes these coupons do work in your favour – such as when you’re eating out.
Sadly sometimes there’s also a reason why certain restaurants offer money off… inevitably because their food sucks ass.
I’ve actually found myself falling into the trap. Well, maybe once – but that’s all it took.
I think somewhere along the line I provided my email address to some firm which offers coupons.
Now every day my account is stocked so full of spam email I spend just as much time deleting them as I do actually reading and replying to messages from friends and family.
There are even websites dedicated to 'free printable coupons'. Some even boast 'extreme' couponing tips.
And my mailbox? My own personal MAILBOX? 

I don't check it for a couple of days and it seems I've been 'couponed'

A few days later: now this is just getting a tad silly...
Wow… are there any forests left in the world?
Can you get a coupon to save trees? I'll sign up I promise!

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