I use the word annoyance because I try hard not to use the word asshole in a headline.
Once again I was at a local chain drug store on my way home and got caught behind the stereotypical wide-assed, stretch-pants wearing extreme couponer who was there with her mom/aunt/sister/neighbor/lover/whoever and they were each grunting and sweating as they removed scads of items from their shopping carts and plopped them down in front of the poor cashier.
You could tell by the look in the eyes of the high-school aged cashier that she'd seen this kind of crap way too often.
Then the two women began doling out their cart load of merchandise into separate transactions so they could get some sort of rewards along with the coupons they used.
My temper was soaring and there were no other cashiers or clerks around, as is typical with this chain drug store--and one that I now absolutely refuse to ever do business with again unless it is to take a leak in their parking lot.
Several transactions through, one of the hippos turned around and looked me, smiled and said, "We're a couple of extreme couponers."
"No," I replied. "You're a couple of extreme assholes."
For some reason, both women got offended and starting bleating and mooing about my rudeness. Problem was, they hadn't even began to see "rude" from me. I used some of my best sergeant's vernacular on those two.
It finally brought out the manager, who I went up one side and down the other on for A) allowing these endless multiple transactions while B) not having another clerk to ring up the honest customers. This poor manager shrugs and says that "corporate" insists on catering to these coupon scamming people.
In disgust, I leave my items on the counter and walk out, as do the other four customers behind me. The two coupon cows continue sweating and grunting and raising hell with the poor cashier over which coupons they can use for which and for how much.
Hey retail corporate numbnuts? How about a checkout lane for couponers only, and then checkout lanes for the rest of us honest shoppers?
When I say "honest," I mean those customers who are not trying to game the system or wipe out shelves or who buy forty years worth of toilet paper and toothbrushes that they'll never use.
I get home and tell the wife about it. She tells me horror stories of extreme couponers. Stories of people who buy their own cash registers so they can print out forged receipts for rebates. Couponers who send their kids dumpster-diving for discarded newspapers just for the coupons.
My neighbor showed me some pictures she snapped with her iPhone of some extreme couponers shopping in a grocery store. They had their freaking iPad laid out on a portable desktop along with binders and a portable, wireless PRINTER for crying out loud, to print out coupons on things they saw!
How would you like to get behind THOSE inconsiderate assholes in the checkout line?
I'd get arrested.
A growing number of these extreme idiots are using the manufacturer and retailer coupons to stockpile massive quantities of merchandise like razors, toothbrushes, vitamins, etc, then they (re)sell it to flea markets, on Craig's List and Ebay, while some wholesale it out to locally owned convenience stores.
Worse yet, it seems that Indian and Asian owned convenience stores are using this extreme couponing to literally stock their shelves for virtually free. If you've ever walked into one of these places, you know the merchandise is marked up sky high. And finally, adding insult to injury, if the merchandise doesn't sell, these asshole store owners simply return it to the retailer for store credit.
Welcome to America.
If there's any good news to this madness it's that a growing number of retailers are starting to get smart and put limits on this extreme bullshit. Rite Aid and Target and Publix have said "no more."
Good for you, Target. You just got some of my business. If there were Rite Aids here in Texas, you'd DAMN SURE have my business. Fortunately, the guy who runs the grocery store where we shop doesn't allow this extreme coupon shelf-clearing, multiple-transaction madness to occur in his store.
We spend copious amounts of money in his store to show my gratitude.
Walmart, the great crack whore of retailers, is now apparently accepting anything that even resembles a coupon. I think maybe I'll get a Crayon and some construction paper and write "Save $500 on any big flat screen television" and see if they'll take it.
According to the extreme couponers, all you have to do is "Stand your ground, don't back down, wear them down." This catchy little phrase was actually taken from one of the extreme asshole's websites, believe it or not.
Better yet, though, I think I'll just shop more online.
Screw the retailers.