Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Homemaker Calculus

I am always amazed at my wife's ability to get a bazillion dollars worth of groceries on the cheap. We go into the store, all the items pass the laser scanner, and usually the cashier looks up and says, "Your total is $4,025,55.98." My wife smarmishly states she has coupons and the cashier's eyes bulge as the 5 ton dump truck (which strangely fits into the check out area) unloads leaflets from every imaginable source. This is where the fun begins.

Most times, the coupons have some sort of hiccup; they either don't scan or there is uncertainty as to whether the store can do what my wife is trying to explain. At this point, the cashier gets a lesson in math that is not taught anywhere on the planet, what I call Homemaker Calculus (that is a registered trademark of mine so don't take it)! Mel starts talking by-one-get-one, dollar off, free, buy ten get $5 off, something about laws of congress and the constitution, the gold souk in Dubai, and the space shuttle. I stopped trying to understand almost at the beginning. I have had 6 semesters of math in college and I still don't get it.

Consequently, the manager is summoned because the cashier's head has exploded. Sometimes the manager just says, "Yep, she can do that," and does some cash register magic for it to work. Other times, the manager calls the corporate office, who calls the governor, who calls the Navy, who has an emergency briefing with the President to try and figure this out. I would not be surprised if the Vatican got involved to try and get some supernatural help.

After all this fun, the new cashier rings up the total and it comes to $2.55. On the bottom of the receipt it shows we saved $4 million and some change. I have told Mel, and lots of our friends, that this almost feels like stealing. Mel makes it seem so easy as she calmly tries to explain it to me. I guess it is a good thing only a few highly trained, covert experts know this system or all grocery stores and manufacturers would soon be out of business. For now, I am content to be one of the ignorant masses.


1 comment:

marion said...

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