July 28, 2012


What's in your Wallet? 


By John R. Greenwood

Okay, here's the deal, no more Mr. Nice Guy. No poetry or pretty flower pictures today. I've got something to say and I'm going to say it. Mrs. G says she's heard enough. Her words exactly,"Your supposed to be Mr. Writer, here's a pen, go get it off your chest. Write it down. Let it out." So as any man whose been married for as long as I have; I do as I'm told. 

Rant: What the hell are the idiots in retail marketing doing? Have these Men in Whites, gone mad?  Why has trying to pay for a package of t-shirts turned into a Colonel Klink interrogation of Hogan. Why is it necessary for me to cough up my email address when all I want to do is hand Miss Fourhoursaweekend an Andy Jackson and go home. 

No!, I don't have a Coal's Kard, and I don't want to waste another five minutes of my life filling out an application so I can save 15% on a two-pack of overpriced t-shirts, that I'd end up paying off in 2015 at a cost $125. Oh, okay, so now you're allowing me to not use a charge card as long as I give you my zip code. I'll give you my zip code! Zipp-a-dee-do-da 123 everybody get the hell away from me! I've lived within a 30 mile radius for 57 years and I have purchased hundreds of t-shirts at places you've never even heard of sweetheart. High class places like The Joy Store, Woolworth's, JJ Newberry's and Jamesway and they never needed my zip code to take my money. IN FACT, they always greeted me with a smile and a, "How are you this evening?" And they never whisked me away staring off into the wild blue muttering a, "Have a good one." What the hell does that mean anyway? Have a good what; life?, heartattack?, brain hemorrage? 

Oh no!, I hope I don't need my license plate number to purchase that 2pk-500ct. Tylenol at Whoa-Is-Me Greens? 

Off I go to Stables for a 10pk of Bic Pens. It's their annual July Back-to-School Extravaganza. You guessed it. "Uh, do you have a Stables Reward Card?" he says. Huh? I have to give you a card then cash? Why don't you just lower the damn price and save us all from card-hell? I need another card like we need another tea flavor in the world. If I carried all the stupid cards needed to get from Monday to Sunday my back ass pocket would look like I was carrying a 4x4 fence post in it. No wonder my back looks like the S-curves on Daniel's Road and I keep a chiropractor in BMW's. 

Well, at least I can buy a sandwich without producing an email address, zip code, or photo ID. Not so fast, I don't even have the words *ham and sw.... out of my mouth and Scooter asks me for my, 'My Panorama Card'. He already has his hand out waiting for me to hand him proof that I am an upstanding and faithful member of the Panorama Family. The probability that I am going to forget my order by the time I dig the My Panorama Card out of the musty depths of my wallet is very high. By now I am about ready to run into the streets screaming but I don't because I am a hungry mature adult. I have an AARP card to prove it; if I can find it. It is at this point my patience begins quivering and things get hairy. I fill up my lungs, pump up my chest and with all the politeness I can muster I look Scooter square in his baby brown eyes and say, "Just what does handing this card to you do for me? I have been using this card here since Santa flew overhead and I haven't got a clue why?" His head drops to the left, just a little askew and he says, "It helps us track your order. And once in awhile they give you a couple dollars off your order." I tilt my head to the left so we match and can look at each other eye to eye and I say, "I've spent $1,000 dollars here this summer paying for bowls of lettuce at ten bucks a clip and you haven't given me so much as a free cup of ice. But that's okay, as long as you can track my order from one end of the counter to the other using this card, we'll both be happy." Needing to get out of there before the Saratoga County Sheriff's Department has to be called, I ask for the order To-Go. As I stand there waiting for an extra long time for my name to be called. I notice a large To-Go bag sitting there unclaimed. I shuffle up to the counter and ask Chief Chef in a whisper if there is a possibility that's my order because I've been waiting quite awhile. As God as my witness she says, "Are you Patricia?" I pull out my wallet and check my My Panorama Card and I'll be a SOB, she was right. That damn card was smarter than I was, I had Mrs. G's card all that time and didn't even know it! 

Note: This part is 100% true. I also asked for a Chicken Caesar Salad, to which the well scripted, mind altered, and programed Scooter responded, "Did you want that with chicken?"


  1. mary in manchesterJuly 29, 2012 at 8:02 AM

    thank you for this rant. it is so on the mark. just let me buy my stuff and get out. don't ask me to fill out a survey or whatever. mega-information age. ugh.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Mary, please come again soon.

  3. I so hear you! I work in retail and I am constantly reminded by management to ask the customer if they are a card carrying customer or if they would like to join the so and so club? I hate it. All retail needs to do is have a regularly scheduled 20% off sale to motivate customers to come in and shop.
    Some of my customers come up to the check out counter and tell me right away that they are not a card carrying customer and no they do not want to join and now can they please pay for their item and just leave? I am not offended and I try not say "have a good one". Just a "thank you" or a "bye" is sufficient.
    I keep hoping this card stuff is just a phase.

  4. This is freaking hilarious!!!!!! Especially the "do you want it with chicken?" O!M!G!

  5. Spot on, John! Your humorous rant is so true. I am now the wiser - If I have to use my Kohl's card to receive the percent discount, I simply shred the discount card sent in the mail. Paying with cash is the way to go - it reins me in (i.e., buying the "need" items rather than the "wants" or "nice-to-have" items).

  6. Oh how I love this piece. Who cannot relate to this? The world has gone mad. I refuse to carry anybody's card. It has angered me so much that I now drive 15 miles one way to grocery shop where they do not have a card. You are such a funny writer! Thank you.