ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Coupons for Crack Babies


I see then in magazines, newspapers, fliers. We get the Wednesday paper just to get all the coupons.

Coupons are good.

And coupons are bad.

I've always been of the mind that coupons are like crack. The more you use them the more you want them. I know that I've not intended on buying things and have changed my mind because I had a $2.00 off coupon. So  I spent $10 to save $2.00. Even my simple math can tell me that is a $8.00 loss. But at least I have something to show for it.

When I'm at the grocery store I see women with binders filled with current coupons. I can't imagine how long they take every day putting the new coupons in, replacing the old, and cross referencing. I wonder if they are arranged by food group or by food type. I've always thought I'd arrange it by aisle, especially since I go to the same store 98% of the time. In fact, I go to Fry's so often that I should have my own parking space.

My Wife's Crack Ice Cream Habit
Let me talk about Fry's for a moment.  For my corner of Arizona, it's a pretty decent store. They have good meats, good wine, and good seafood. They are my wife's crack ice cream dealer. They are my wine distributor. They have most vegetables and fruit I want and hold frequent sales. I can get a free bite of sushi if I time it right. They have a great deli counter that has my own crack version of meat - mortadella. All in all, besides some hiccups along the way it's been a good store.

And like most stores nowadays, they issue you a VIP card that gives discounts and points towards free gas. When you buy something, the machine spits out additional coupons for something they think you'd buy based on your purchases. They probably use a modified eighth-grade version of the algorithm which is use by Google or Facebook.  If you like this, then try that. If you're friends with this jamoke, then you should friends with this jamoke. That sort of thing.

But when I buy wine from the self-serve checkout a strange thing happens.I get coupons for Enfamil. So the algroythm is saying that people who buy wine also buy Enfamil. The odds are that somewhere a lot of men or women are buying both of these together at great frequency. It has to be. Why else would they offer me baby formula EVERY TIME I BUY WINE!

I wonder if I should bring it to the stores attention.

Me- Excuse me, sir?
Manager- Yes?
Me- Do you know that every time that I buy wine that it gives me coupons for baby formula?
Manager-Isn't that nice.
Me- Don't you think you might be promoting something... unhealthy?
Manager- There's nothing unhealthy about baby formula.
Me- But why do you offer it to everyone who buys wine?
Manager-Wouldn't you?

And so on. The manager I am sure has no idea whatsover. The algorythm was probably created by the same Russian man who offers phone assisstance using the name Peggy.

I mean, I'd understand it if I was buying vodka. At least then I could use the Enfamil to make White Russians.  Yummmm.

Got formula?

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