Thursday, April 1, 2010

Guaranteed Lowest Price or I'll Eat a Bug

When I saw it yesterday I thought at first someone was stealing a march on April Fool's Day-but it turns out that's not what was going on at all. It's an advertising insert in one of the weekly 'community' free newspapers by a supermarket chain with a pharmacy in it. The flier brags about the bargains by the bagful on Clamato juice (no more for me thanks, I'm driving) and hair coloring (little late on that one, but I appreciate the thought).

On the outside edge of it, just peeking out of the newspaper (most of whose newsprint is now on your fingers, and if you didn't know this would happen, it's also already around your eyes and chin, and maybe a little spot under your nose, too, that gets us all smiling because we know how it got there) are letters that boldly announce, "Free Salmon with New or Transferred Prescription." So much for Free Willy, brothers and sisters. Here in New England we take our denizens of the deep seriously.

Bear in mind (sort of a disclaimer) I get most of my prescriptions filled where you can buy tires, diapers, sporting goods and (heck!) almost everything imaginable-so who do I think I am to be surprised by a 'get your Oxycontin script filled here and bring Easter dinner home with you in the same bag" newspaper ad?

Be warned-I didn't read any details as to whether you get to pick the salmon or if the store does. And who in the store makes that kind of call? The pharmacist? The fish department manager? I don't eat a lot of fish, so are they kept like lobsters in a tank somewhere just swimming around discussing the meaning of life and if so, do you end up with the one that was voted off the island? That sounds like a fun ride home, especially if you take the bus.

Are there other limitations to this offer? If you're getting a long-term cholesterol medication, do you get a larger fish than someone who's getting a one-time fill on Vicodin (and why are they wearing two pairs of sunglasses indoors anyway?). Seems to me there's a lot of moving parts in this whole arrangement that need to be clarified, but it does show promise.

Maybe, just maybe, this could be the change we've been looking for! How about a dollar off a combo meal at a fast-food joint for every ER visit? Buying a new car, or truck? Free haircuts for a year (we both know you're not going back to the dealership for the oil changes anyway). Are you too young to remember when cigarette packs had coupons? (You are? I hate you.) Why not everything, always?

Just had a baby? How about a hundred dollars off an above-ground pool? You live in an apartment? Call it a hot tub! Convergence is the name of the new Greater Good and if we play our cards right, we can converge so hard that if you knock back enough Vicodin with Clamato, Klaatu will not only sound like The Beatles, but will be them. All You Need is Love. And a really tall glass and some really big gulps.
-bill kenny

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