Bargain Hunter’s Delight

      Unlike many shoppers who look forward to grabbing coupon flyers upon entering grocery stories, I prefer to pick up one of the free papers stacked near the exits for perusing at home. The paper may not save me any money, but it makes for a pleasant diversion after restocking the cupboards.

     Amid the usual advertisements for apartments, liquor and tobacco, restaurants, tree removal, home improvement services, and automobiles are some promotions worth a second look (or a double take). For instance, one bar and grill offers different soup specials every day of the week including one called Italian Wedding which, I imagine, means diners get to throw in their own rice.

     A spiritual consultant who offers a $10 off coupon will provide the answer to the questions “Is your life in order? Are you unlucky? Are you making the right business or career move?” Perhaps after hearing “No. Yes. No.” clients will go back to consulting the mystic 8 ball instead of feeling like they have been behind it.

     A cheerful display ad for a cemetery park offers “$250 off single occupancy niche,” which may appeal to those who could not find their niche in life.

     This is the type of local paper where readers get on a first-name basis with the owners at Benny’s Café, Lisa’s Hair, Laura’s Cleaning Service, and Sauna Bob’s. The ad for the Donna Jeanne School of Dance shows a web diagram which highlights the styles she teaches: ballet, belly, tap, jazz, hip hop, ballroom, wedding, and arthritis.” Sign me up for the last one, D.J. I need to brush up on my rheumatoid rumba moves.

     Don’t sign me up for the tattoo company that offers the piercing card “Buy 3, Get 1 Free” unless they can punch holes in an ironclad agreement.

     On the very same page of a recent issue one can accentuate the positive by going from First Rate Motors to Last Stop Motors with no stop for Mr. In-Between. Repeatedly the auto salvage ads spell out the three words that register with readers: We Pay Cash.

     The handyman catering to both commercial and residential customers may rescind his claim “No job too small or two big” if someone calls regarding amoeba removal or wallpapering a canyon.

     Even more enjoyable than the lively ads are the fun facts that run along the bottom of certain pages as fillers meant to edify, entertain, or amaze. Below are some of these statements and the logical questions they raise in this reader.

     “French author Michael Thayer published a 233-page novel which has no verbs.” Howdy Doody that?

     “The fear of vegetables is called lachanophobia.” Then what do we called the fear of eating canned French vegetables?

     “A group of 12 or more cows is called a flink.” Are a gang of 12 or more juvenile offenders called a dlink?

     “Twins have a high occurrence of left-handedness.” Why aren’t more Major League teams assigning pitching scouts to maternity wards?

     “Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.” Is ten-month-old compressed Gouda safe to eat?

     “The brain operates on the same amount of power as a 10-watt light bulb.” Why are there so many dimwits around?

     “The chicken is the closest living relative of the tyrannosaurus rex.” Why did that waitress ask me if I wanted the wings cooked Cajun or Cretaceous style?

     “In Ancient Greece throwing an apple to a woman was considered to be a marriage proposal.” Why were so many Greeks rotten to the core?

     “In the average lifetime a person will walk the equivalen (sic) of 5 times around the equator?” Where in the world can one find a good proofreader?

     “The number 1 or the word one appears on the dollar bill 16 times.” Why is it that if you code 16 times all you’ll get is another day older and deeper in debt?

     “Six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults only laugh 15-to-100 times a day.” Why are there so many childish comedy films these days?

     “If you shake a can of mixed nuts, the larger nuts will rise to the top.” Why is it that when companies reorganize, things get worse instead of better?

     “If you had 1 billion dollars and spent 1 thousand dollars a day, it would take you 2,479 years to spend it all.” Why does it seem like it will take forever to pay off our $14 trillion federal debt?

     “To estimate the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit, count the number of cricket chirps in 15 seconds, then add 37.” Why does Uncle Ned spend his summer evenings on the patio with his shoes off and his ear to the ground?

     “The roadrunner chases after its prey at the blurring rate of 25 mph.” Why is my 1968 Plymouth left in the dust by Mustangs and Camaros?

     “Flamingos can only eat with their heads upside down.” Why is it pointless to give some birds a heads up when it’s mealtime?

     Next week I hope the new Bargain Hunter will be waiting for me. Even though I bring my own cloth bags to pack my groceries, I still say “Paper, please” to myself as I leave the store because that quirky paper sure pleases me.

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