Past Opinion Articles

Article for the week of 1/31/10

Coupons are Great...aren't they?
By, Puns McKenna

Coupons are great aren’t they? Everyone I know cuts coupons out of magazines, newspapers, or off of boxes they get food in. They’re the greatest thing since sliced bread, aren’t they? Well…. Maybe they aren’t as great as everyone thinks. Let’s take an, in depth look at coupons, shall we?

Okay, so you see this really great coupon for this TV you want to buy. You clip it out of the newspaper, because you aren’t going to keep some old newspaper lying around for the couple of weeks its going to take to afford the TV, and put it in a drawer with other coupons you’ve clipped. Now, the fine print on the coupon itself doesn’t say anything about an expiration date, but that newspaper you just threw away did. However, you’re happy go lucky and didn’t notice the date. Wrapped up in your own little world, you promptly forget about the coupon. Now, it’s two months later and you’re cleaning out the drawer. You find the nifty coupon for the TV that you clipped and figure to yourself that it’s time you went out and got that TV.

So, you go down to Ye Old Diode and Cathode Ray Tube Shoppe to pick up your TV. You walk in, point to the TV you want and say, “I have a coupon for that.” The clerk who is ringing up the TV for you gives you a funny look and shakes his head. “I’m sorry sir,” he tells you. “Your coupon expired at midnight the night before last, four weeks ago.” You continue to argue until he pulls out the old sales paper that you clipped your coupon from.

Moral: Always pay attention to expiration dates.

So let’s say that you pay attention to the expiration dates of your coupons and you use them before they go bad. But do you always read your coupon correctly? Do you really read a coupon that has the word BOGO on it? What the heck are those terms & conditions again?

Suppose for a moment that you were clipping a bunch of coupons that you intended to use the next day on a shopping trip. You’ve got your coupons in order, your list is made, life is pretty good, right? Ah, this is when that evil little devil, Details, shows up. You’re confident in your shopping prowess and go to bed without a care in the world. Next morning shows up and you go out shopping. Everything is going beautifully, and now you’re at the check out with a long line of people behind you. You pull out your coupons and lay them out for the cashier. She’s ringing up your purchases, reading your coupons, and bagging your purchases like she should. Suddenly she stops and says those words that you dread. “Did you read your coupon? This says you get one at the special price when you buy one for full price.”

You tell her that you forgot to grab the second one and she calls a bag boy to go get a second one. Now, you’re not only wondering what else you might have missed, but you’re also holding up the line of people behind you. Your day just went from great to… Oh My God, what an ordeal… in just a few seconds.

Moral: Always read the fine print.

Coupons are great things. They make our shopping lives nicer, but not simpler. A coupon, really is a lot of work and responsibility. You have to find ‘em, clip ‘em, and read them extensively. I bet you never thought about a coupon being a contract… or agreement did you? Most people don’t. Coupons are simple conveniences to most people. Dangerous conveniences if you ask me. I mean it isn’t like anyone is going to give you the key to Fraggle Rock just because you pay attention to what coupons say. I’d take a lesson from Wembly though… Pay attention to the details.

Confessions of a Dislocated Texan

Waving back at the wheat

By Ezra Mann (Editor in Spoof)

Article also printed at the Pauls Valley Daily Democrat

I’ve found I have a knack for ending up in places I never thought I’d take up residence. To be fair, when I was growing up I was ready to strike out to any location more exciting than where I was.

Yet, that does not remove the fact that being a native city boy I was at first drawn to places like Dallas or San Antonio. Never, even after I broadened my desires to places like the Rocky Mountains did I ever think I’d settle down in the places I’ve been. This includes my current stint in a state known for singing about bread ingredients and guys named Jud.

Don’t count me as ungrateful for the generosity I’ve received in Pauls Valley, it has made the transition to the area much easier. Heck, I even thought it was nice how the town even changed what it was called to be same as my middle name.

However, it goes on the list of towns I might have never even passed by proving the old saying “Life is what happens when you make plans.” You should feel honored though for who else in the area can say they’ve gotten mail in Lubbock Texas, Portales New Mexico, Grimesland North Carolina, Pine Bluff Arkansas, Corinth Mississippi and Paoli Oklahoma. Besides, in the month I’ve been here so far I’ve had time to reflect on connections old and developing for the state.

During the not so Great Depression my grandmother on my father’s side grew up in an Oklahoma orphanage. Her family was shaken up as many were during that time and thankfully later found kindness elsewhere.

I’m not much up on eating gruel and singing about pocket picking, but in a way each time I’ve moved it has been like being orphaned and finding a new family. That’s where you, the people of this state bring this story full circle. You are for now my latest extended family, though I think I’m going to need a few more chairs and a bigger table this Thanksgiving.

Actually my biggest request is that you help me to improve this community through communication. The Pauls Valley Daily Democrat is here to inform the residents of Garvin County and we look forward to telling your stories.

This should be true for any publication and if you think we need to cover something let us know that way we can make improvements. I plan on being out in the area as I can, but to be your voice we need to know what you care about. Stop by the front office, give us a call or even drop us an e-mail and thanks for the welcome.

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