Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Master & Grasshopper

Do you remember this show? Please, God, let there be somebody reading who's at least somewhere close to as old as I am. I used to watch it as a kid whenever I came out of the boonies and into the city to visit family.

I grew up in a series of small towns. Small towns that didn't have much for television because they couldn't get cable in because they were also remote. Besides that, "back then" was quite a few decades ago. "Back then" we mainly had very few Canadian content shows and the news.

So here's where I begin to make sense. Don't worry. That's the way my brain works. I tell a big long story before I get to the actual big long story that I want to tell. Sometimes I tell TWO big long stories before I get to the actual big long story.

Ma is Queen of the Buck Shoppers. (Aha. See there? There's another big long story that needs to be told before you get the full meaning behind this post!) It is her hobby and her passion. Queen of the Buck Shoppers -- that's my pet name for Ma when's she's practicing her hobby.

She comes by it honestly. Most of her family, her sisters and mother, were or are frugal people. One of her sisters lives here in the city, while Ma lives about 4 1/2 hr drive from here. Lately, Ma has made a point of spending some time with this aunt, Auntie Em.

You see, Auntie Em is a
master shopper. She gets incredible deals. She very often gets piles of things for free. She only shops at places that have a scanning policy that states that if the scanned price is higher than the advertised price, the item is free. She somehow has recognized a pattern so that she can pretty accurately predict which things advertised on sale will not scan correctly. She then takes her item and her receipt to the customer service counter and they give her her money back. Once she's found their mistakes, she goes back repeatedly, getting multiples of the item for free.

The reason Ma wants to spend time with Auntie Em is so she can study under the Master. And it is these times when I call Ma,

Ma doesn't drive in the city. Auntie Em doesn't drive in the city unless she's been taken there, taken notes on how to get there and always takes the exact same route. They ask me to take them on these Zen shopping outings. I agree. But only if I can drop them off and leave. Then I wait for the call to pick them up again. They can be in a store for hours and hours. I detest shopping so I can't stomach it.

I have to make sure that my trunk is empty for the pick up because...

Well, here is a slideshow of some deals
Master has found. Usually I have my camera with me but this time I had to use the cell phone.

Master patiently teaches and Grasshopper eagerly absorbs the lessons during these enlightened shopping trips.

I prefer to stay home. I figure I save about $50 by going nowhere. Ha!

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