The other day, I met a nice older couple who had about 200 coupons in their possession, and they were using a good portion of them at the checkout counter. I paid for my few purchases, and when I finished, they were still presenting coupons. I was really impressed with their organizational skills and moxie! They had “couponing” down to a fine art, and this made me wonder: What would happen if coupons were used in all walks of life?
Let’s say you’ve been found guilty of speeding and you have to pay your traffic fine at the courthouse. What if the conversation went something like this: “Mr. McCoy, my screen says you owe $200 for going 45 in a 35 mph zone. Would you like to pay with cash, check or credit card? What? Sure, we accept most coupons! What have you got there? No, that one’s only good for felonies. This is just a traffic violation. What about that blue one? That’s a popular one for speeders who want to save a few bucks. Oh, wait. That’s not valid here. We don’t honor coupons from other jurisdictions. Sorry. Hey, you could use that red one! That’s a ‘speed now and get a free jaywalk later’ coupon. And since today is Wednesday, we’ll double it! So, give me $200 and the red coupon, and I’ll give you two vouchers for free jaywalking.”
If that sounds nuts, what about using coupons at home? “George, I’m really hurt. Do you know you forgot our anniversary again? What’s that? You’ve got a little something for me? This is it? A purple coupon? What’s the deal? Yeah, I can read. It says, ‘Remember two birthdays and forget an anniversary with no penalty.’ Where did you get this? Oh, you got it on the internet... Yes, I know you remembered my last two birthdays — are you actually trying to use this coupon to get out of the dog house? Are you serious? No! I do not 'double' coupons! Do you think you’re at Kroger or the courthouse?”
I just don’t see it working. Coupons are great for retail items like groceries, but I don’t think we’ll see them where we really need them: traffic tickets and domestic bliss. There are just no discounts available for those foolhardy enough to engage in dangerous acts like jaywalking or anniversary forgetfulness.
David McCoy, a self-proclaimed Southern-Gentleman and Raconteur-in-Training lives in Covington with his family.