Wednesday, April 25, 2012

1010 Coupon For Eternity

1010 Coupon For Eternity

Forget the “Forever Stamp.”  This is even better.  A regional department store just sent a coupon that says “valid April 1-April 31, 2012.  Um... say what?  

Since the expiration date will never come, this is the Coupon for Eternity.  Just think, you can carry this baby all the way to the grave and then pass it on to your children... and grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Of course, by the time your great grandchild tries to use it, the ten bucks will be worth about four cents.  But a discount is a discount.  And, of course, this requires that the store exist for generations to come.  Which is about as likely as the deal being honored on May first.

The real story here is no one proofs ads these days.  Which is why you often see the disclaimer “not responsible for typographical errors.”  Well, actually, you probably don’t see it, because it’s buried in the bunch of fine print at the bottom and almost no one even notices that, let alone reads it.

If they’re not responsible for typographical errors, who is?  The Devil?  You? The Welfare State?  The Motor Vehicle Bureau? Al Qaeda?

When someone commits a minor, stupid and funny error like setting a non-existent date for the expiration of a sale or discount, though, you have to wonder what else is going on that you haven’t noticed.

While the coupon thing is likely unintentional, some things are not.

First among them is the “vanity size.”  What, you may ask, is a vanity size?  It’s when the dress marked “size 6” or the slacks marked “37” really are size ten or have a 40” waist.  And this isn’t limited to dresses and men’s pants.  It’s happening to shoes, too.

You’ve been buying the same make and style shoe for years?  All of a sudden, you try on a new pair and it doesn’t fit?  If there’s a shoe pro in the house, he or she may tell you it’s because the manufacturer is using a “new last” or “your foot widens out as you age.”  The first is bunk. The second can be true, but that depends on your age and weight.  It’s really because they’re shrinking the sizes incrementally.   Small is beautiful.

So if you get one of those 4/31 coupons, hold on to it.  A little something to pass along to your heirs.


Shrapnel:

--The catch phrase “all new” has become one of the most frequently heard on TV.  Maybe it should be restricted to reality or magazine shows which can be pieced together from previously seen episodes.  After all, has there ever been a “partially new” or “somewhat new” episode of, say, “House” or “Two and a Half Men?”

--They’re making a big fuss about the differences among regions and hospitals in the cost of having your appendix removed.  Prices vary from a little over a grand to more than $30-thousand.  But has anyone looked into the cost of having an appendix implanted?

--Early warning:  Google spent more than $5 million in lobbying charges in the first quarter of the year.  That’s triple the amount paid in the corresponding quarter last year.  When an outfit that had ignored Washington for most of its life suddenly spends that kind of money, something’s up.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2012

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