Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lessons in Extreme Couponing Failure

Hey. Wanna know what this is?

This is a nice note left on my computer.
My work computer.

The one that's not my personal computer.

The one that I shouldn't be messing around on.

Want to know who it's from?

The guy in the IT Department.

Want to know what he's all done with?

Getting rid of the child porn viruses that I got from trying to find a freaking Skippy Peanut Butter coupon.

Let me explain:

No, I didn't google child porn. That's sick. Besides, if I'm going to look up porn it's going to be fat people porn because that way I can watch and feel good about my body. But like I said, I didn't google child porn.

I googled 'skippy peanut butter coupon'. Pretty dang clear if you ask me.

See, normally I don't bother with coupons but lately there's been all these extreme couponing shows on TV. You know, the ones where some lady gets $2,000 worth of groceries of $6.78. Not that I personally need 87 bottles of hot sauce and 32 years worth of Maalox, but I have to admit, I wouldn't mind saving a few dollars on my grocery bill. Besides, they make it look so easy.

So, I took some initiative and grabbed the store flyer from the grocery store I normally shop at. Then I circled only those items I normally buy. Which was about two. And then I said to myself, self. Look here. Skippy Peanut Butter is on sale for 99 cents. Not that you normally buy Skippy Peanut Butter because you're more of a Jif gal, but peanut butter is peanut butter and why not give it a shot. Hey! If you could find a manufacturer's coupon to use in conjunction with the in-store price you'd be just like those women on Extreme Couponing!

So the next morning I googled Skippy Peanut Butter.

At work.

And got the Skippy website.

But there were no coupons on there.

And I thought what up, Skippy? Why are you skimping on the goods?

And then I googled skippy peanut butter coupon.

And it brought up a bunch of websites so I clicked on the one that said because I was a mom and I wanted a coupon so I figured that was a pretty good match.

But then you need a flipping PhD and a super-secret decoder ring to figure out where the gosh durn Skippy Peanut Butter coupon was - which I had neither of - and I started clicking and searching and clicking some more and before you knew it my computer was seizing and alarms started going off and the lights in the office were flashing and a robot busted through the door yelling WARNING! WARNING!

And then I rebooted my computer and prayed.

And then I rebooted my computer again and prayed harder.

And then I had to suck it up and go tell my boss that I was messing around on the work computer and caught a virus trying to find a peanut butter coupon and she did not look very cheerful or happy.

And then it got really bad because when she stopped by to look at my computer it was doing this funky fake file scan thing and all these file names with the words child porn in it were flickering by in bright red letters and I yelled I swear I didn't google that! I just wanted a peanut butter coupon!

And then she said your peanut butter just cost us sixty dollars in consulting fees (meaning that now we had to pay the IT guy to come in and fix it) and I honestly felt like the crappiest person on the planet and also that I never wanted peanut butter again for the rest of my life.

And then I left with my tail between my legs and went to go pick up my kids from my mother who said (swear to God), "I was just listening to the radio and, you know all those couponing shows? Well, now all these people are interested in finding coupons on-line, but they said you shouldn't do that because there are all these viruses that can destroy your computer..." 

Ain't timing grand?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lesson for the day: It pays to take your car to a professional.

Here is a story about the time I had a flat tire.

Which was actually only two days ago.

I packed three kids in the car, got as far as the end of the block, and realized something wasn't right.

Which is to say my tire was flat and I probably shouldn't drive on it so instead I drove three miles per hour home and silently sobbed in my head because how was I going to function without a car? Then I called my mom, who stopped playing Scrabble with my elderly grandmother in order to come to our rescue and take the Bean to work. (Yes, she has work!)

And then I sent a picture text to Big V that read "Flat Tire Fail."

Being the Knight in Shining Armor that he is, he called and said something like I'm not going to be home for another hour or two and then I have to play softball and I need to get there early to practice batting so I'm not sure what you want me to do about it.

And I said in my most calmest voice ever oh, I don't need you to do anything about it. I was just letting you know. I'm going to take it to the car shop tomorrow.

And then he got all macho and was like I'll save you!

And I reminded him that he might possibly have limited skill in the area of flat tire expertise and then he was all I am a Man! I can do anything!

So I turned on Designed to Sell and started emotionally eating my way through a bag of Ruffles and a tub of French Onion Dip. Because how could I function without my car?

Big V came home about an hour later and asked me if I had a jack. And that's when I stared at him because hasn't he ever met me before? I know nothing of jacks. Or other car thingys.

Forty-five minutes later, just as I was licking the last of the dip out of the plastic container, he came back muttering under his breath and saying things like I'm going to be late for softball and why did you have to get a flat tire anyway? (Oh, it was on my list of things to do. Right in between washing your dirty underwear and giving painful birth to your son. I'm sorry, what was that you were saying?)

So he decides he's going to leave the car jacked up while he takes the tire over yonder to WalMart and F&F Tire, seemings how it's Sunday night and everything else is closed and did you hear me? He said he's going to leave the car jacked up... see, that's called Rising Action and is the part of the story that introduces the basic conflict and the various obstacles that interfere with the protagonist's ability to reach his goal.

A couple more hours later Big V calls. He is actually in another town because on his way to WalMart and F&;F Tire he called his dad. And his dad said I used to work at Herb's! I know how to fix a flat tire. Bring it on over!

And so he did.

Except by the time he got there his dad was responding to a fire call.

So Big V just sat at his house and waited for him.

But then it was taking too long and he didn't want to be late for the big game so he left.

And he was just calling to tell me he'd get the tire when he was done.

After his game.

And just as I'm reaching for a big piece of chocolate cream pie, my mom stops by on her way to drive my children to and fro and says, "Did you mean for your car to be up on the jack? Or just sitting on the driveway?"

And just in case you can't see that....

Here's a better view.

So, I posted a picture of it to Facebook because this cannot be good. And, you know what? A lot of people confirmed that.

So, I started eating more.

A lot more.

And I tried not to sob out loud. (It scares the children.)

And a couple more hours later Big V called because his game was over and he was going to head over to pick up my tire but I said actually, if you have a second, can you stop at home first?

And he said this cannot be good.

So he left to go get the tire.

And a better jack.

(Which is that thing that holds the car up in the air, making it possible to actually change the tire.)

And he was gone for a very, very long time.

And when he finally called me on his way home he was very stressed out. And was kind of jackasseryish. And was kind of ranting about how when he got there his dad still hadn't gotten to the tire because they were just finishing up on the fire call so he went down to the fire house and then another call came in and he had to go on it because he's actually a member of the fire department and can't exactly say no [he doesn't like fires; he's only on the fire department because it's a requirement for being on the rescue dive team. He prefers to swim under ice as opposed to entering burning buildings.] and it took forever and so then he just left and filled the tire up with air from the gas station and then sprayed Windex on it and couldn't find anything so it should be fine.

And I was like I'm actually not feeling comfortable with your fixing abilities and I'm scared my car will fall apart so I'm still going to bring it in to the car shop.

And then he got very upset because I wounded his pride so he made a nasty comment about how if I didn't care to waste my money getting screwed over then so be it because he knows it's fine. And I was all you didn't fix it; you just gave it a streak-free shine!

And then we stopped talking.

Because sometimes it's best if you just shut your dang piehole, you know?

And the next day I took my car to Korey's Auto Kare and had to explain how I think we broke my car by dumping it tireless on the concrete and could he please, pretty please make sure I wouldn't die if I drove it? I've taken my car to Korey before and knew I was leaving it in good hands... but I still had to get a ride to and from work and that meant I had to be alone in the truck with Big V which was so not where I wanted to be.

Then Korey called. And I felt a gazillion times better. Because on the way home I asked Big V what dollar amount he would feel screwed over by ... and then I told him how Korey replaced two bulbs that were out in my tail light (that Big V was going to do months ago because he said he would only take ten minutes) and also that Korey changed the oil in my car because it was due and also Korey took the tire off and checked to see if anything was cracked or broken, which he assured me it was not, and also how Korey patched the tire so it wouldn't leak.

And Big V said that if it was over $150 he would feel we got screwed over.

And that's when I said the bill came to forty-seven dollars.

And then there was silence.

And then Big V said well are you sure he checked everything? I mean, for that low of a price maybe he didn't check everything...

And I said he managed to pull the big screw out that made my tire go flat. Perhaps your Windex didn't get it shiny enough for you to see it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Given the right circumstances, I might just drop kick an old woman.

I had just sat down in my comfy chair with a large bowl of steaming chili (those of you who know me know I like to have my food extra-piping hot, at scalding level) when I spied movement from outside the window.

Mary. The dog walker. Was back.

Risking the flesh on my thighs, I quickly tossed my bowl on the end table, leaped across the living room furniture and frantically grabbed my camera.

What is with this woman's fascination with our yard? I get that it's the least manicured lot on the block but our house hardly looks vacant. Plus, I've told her before to keep off our yard. To her face. So she knows we live there. Unless she suffers from memory loss.

I ran to the front of the house and down the front steps, ignoring the fact it was noon and I was still sporting my baby blue pajama pants that had glow-in-the-dark kittens printed on them.

I don't know if you can tell how into our yard she actually is. I should really take a photo from the side. In this photo I'm at the front corner of the house waiting. Watching. Wondering when she'll notice me.

But she changed things up on me by starting to walk back down towards the road. So, I called her name.

Hey, Mary, I quipped, perhaps a tad louder and snarkier than a normal greeting.

And she turned. And said hi back. As if we were friends. Look she thinks we're friends.

No, really. The woman who walks her stinky dog in my yard day after day after day even though I've asked her three thousand times to stop, thinks we are friends.

But we're not, Mary. We are not friends.

Hey, Mary. Um. Why are you walking your dog in my yard?

"I'll bring him to the street."

Great. But that doesn't answer my question. Why are you walking your dog in my yard?

"I said I'll bring him to the street."

Right. But you still keep walking your dog in my yard. And I've asked you not to. Many times. To me, that's very disrespectful of you and I would just like to know why you keep doing it.

And, as God is my witness, the woman looked at me, shrugged her shoulders and said, "I don't know; habit?"

I couldn't quite remember what the punishment was for drop-kicking an old woman and booting her rickety dog out of my yard but I was pretty sure the fines and lawyers fees would seriously deplete my Fiji Vacation Fund, so instead I said well you're just going to have to find another habit. I've talked to the police and if they find you in my yard again they're giving you a ticket for trespassing. That's why I'm taking pictures. For proof.

And then I took one more for good measure. Because I'm mature like that.

Something tells me Mary doesn't think we're friends anymore.