Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 46

The world of coupons

Coupons here are big. There are coupons for everything. I know this, because I got totally chastised by a server at the checkout when I did my ‘big shop’ for not having coupons.

You got no coupons for none of this, darlin’? (sic)

Um, no. Where would I acquire coupons?

In Sunday’s paper, darlin’. You can get coupons for all sorts. You wanna get another sack of potatoes? They’re buy one, get one free.

No thanks, they’ll just go off.

You can give them to a friend.

Okay, I’ll get one and give them to a homeless kiosk. (I have images of poor homeless people in Maryland bemoaning yet another potato soup/mashed potato/fried potato dinner during October).

So, what is the deal with all the coupons? Well, it makes you buy stuff you may not usually get, but in fairness, it gives you a whole load off your shopping bill. I stood behind a lady in a queue with coupons and whilst I sighed inwardly (in a non-confrontational British manner) as they scanned coupon after coupon, they deducted a pretty respectable amount from her final shopping bill.

Respect to the coupon.


Halloween is nearly upon us, and I am made aware of this because everybody else’s houses are adorned with spiders’ webs, pumpkins and witches/ghosts/monsters.

I am not very good at this sort of thing. For example, at Christmas, my Christmas tree tends to be a 12″ plug in with a few lights that don’t work and a wobbly star plonked on top at a precarious angle. My Christmas cards sit in a box and I abhor tinsel. Totally abhor it, with a passion.

So, for me, Halloween is a challenge.

However, I have a four-year old son, who will expect such frivolity to adorn our residence, so I have bitten the silver bullet and purchased a pile of Halloween crap for us to decorate our porch, door and windows with.

This is our list: a silver glitter skeleton (yes, there is sodding glitter everywhere); a witch’s face with red eyes that light up and a stomach-turning, relentless cackle (please let the batteries be weak); a monster door knocker that roars (hideous); spiders’ web stuff to create cobwebs (just messy); and some Halloween stickery things for the windows (soap and water required to get those off). Oh, and a classy stone pumpkin thing, which you put a candle in, which I confess to rather liking.

We also come equipped with two very real black cats, so I suspect that they will make an appearance.

And so with all this dreadful Halloween bling, our house will take shape and we shall join in the festivities of trick or treating. I hope Harry is content with that, because there’s no way I’m doing apple bobbing and other such nonsense. I have spent – so far- $16 dollars on trick or treat candy for people who do knock (they had better bloody well enjoy it).

Does this make me Scrooge of Halloween? Or perhaps I will fall under its spell after all……….

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