I WENT TO THE GROCERY STORE today. It was while I waited for a call from a tenant; his plan was to phone me and say, "I've got the money," and then I would go and get the money. (This call would hopefully be the final one in a whole series of calls, informing me daily or semi-daily or sometimes bi-daily as to the status of his rent-paying ability.
So, anyhow, I went to the grocery store. First thing, I went to Customer Service. "Can you tell me," I asked the woman at the counter. "How I go about redeeming the reward points which are printed at the bottom of my mile-long receipts each time I make a purchase?" (To be perfectly honest, I did not mention the length of the receipts; I just asked the basic question. But as long as we're speaking of longitude, Reader Dear, it's a fact that one could purchase a can of soup, or a one-pound package of carrots, or any number of different items at this particular store, and end up with almost enough paper to gift-wrap the thing!)
"Well, if you accumulate four hundred points, you can get a free turkey!" the store employee told me.
I looked at my previous sales slip from this store, which I was carrying with me. "I've only got 122 points," I said. "There's no way I'll have four hundred points by November twenty-six."
"Oh!" she said. "Here's a flier showing our extra-reward specials." She handed me a two-page flier. "If you buy these specials, you will get extra points. That way, maybe you can get enough points for a turkey." Then she went on to explain, "See, if you buy any six of these items, you get a hundred extra points. And if you buy any seven of these items, you can get two hundred extra points."
"I only came in to get apples and yogurt," I said. "I'm very sure I don't want to buy a large jar of mayo or the kind of cereal listed here...or...hmm..." I scanned the items,"...not a single one of these specials, much less SIX or SEVEN of them!"
"Oh, well," she consoled, "turkeys are pretty cheap right now, anyway!"