Papa Needs a New Pair of Shoes

November 21, 2010 at 1:13 pm (Cussed Dumbers)

Nate Berkus has nothing on me.

I grew up low income, which is not the same as poor. We made do with what we had, took care of our stuff until it fell apart, and watched for bargains and sales. Coupons equal money, so we used them when possible. Nowadays, with the internet and all the different incentive programs merchants use to draw you in, the pickings are even better. If you are persistent and keep your eyes open.

I spent yesterday afternoon getting Fred Meyer to pay me $2 to haul away a new pair of Nikes…

I use the Fred Meyer Rewards program. You scan the little card as you check out, and it tracks your sales. After three months, if you spend over $500, they give you a coupon good for a penny on the dollar amount spent. I’ve enlisted my sister, the Porno Queen and Meg to enter my phone number when they are checking out. As a result, I had a coupon good for any merchandise worth $18.90!

A few weeks back, Master P was given what the staff lovingly refers to as The Retard Award. (Master P has been known to give a few hours a week to folks who would otherwise have trouble finding employment; stocking, handing out coupons on the sidewalk, etc…) One of the workers, Lucy, nominated him for an Americans with Disabilities Award, which he won.

Unless you count alcoholism and diabetes, the staff is a hearty bunch, and while some took exception to being lumped into this category, most took it with a laugh and a smile. When we heard there would be an awards dinner, no one wanted any part of it.

Master P was leaving town the day of the award, and asked any employees who wished to attend to do so. I had the day off, and nothing particular to do. When I found out that Art East had been chosen to accept the award, I felt compelled to tag along. I figured it’d be good for a story.

Oh yeah.

It was pouring rain the night of the ceremony. I touched base with Dr T, who had been mandated to attend, along with the other managers. Already it was sounding like a party. Dr T and I took a train to Lloyd Center, and found the hotel conference room where the ceremony would take place. It was across from the hotel bar.

“Sure you don’t want to stop for a Jameson before we go in?”

“Nah,” he said. “Let’s just get this over with…”

Art was laptopping at a table in the middle of the room. There was Grinder, Whitney, Lucy, Uncle Cliffy and Master P’s daughter, looking bored. I sidled up next to Art. Dr T sat next to me. Uncle Cliffy eyeballed the wine glass in front of him. There was a bottle of inexpensive merlot in the center of the table. Without prompting, I grabbed it and poured Dr T and Uncle Cliffy a glass. I poured myself a glass, and after Dr T finished his, I switched glasses. He gave me a smirk and finished that glass as well. I fetched a Diet Pepsi from the wet bar, and poured it into a wine glass. I took it as my civic duty to keep the glasses full, and over the course of two and a half hours we went through seven bottles. Dr T was feisty as hell, Uncle Cliffy was the most tolerable I’ve ever seen, and I felt as wacky as they did. I loves my designated drinkers!

Fast-forward a couple weeks, and I get a special note in my paycheck from Master P. “Thanks for attending the Awards, I’m very appreciative. Please note you were paid for your time, and here’s a little something besides.” It was a $25 gift card from Fred Meyer’s.

Combined with my $18.90 Rewards coupon, and a one-day-only 25% off coupon, I walked out of Freddy’s with a pair of black leather Nike Air Monarch, size 13 4E, for minus-two dollars.

You can call me Mr Frugal, Mr Cheapskate, Mr Coupon Queen, I don’t care.

I call myself Mr Happy Feet.

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