As we enter into ever more strenuous economic times, we find that the nickels just don’t stretch as far as we would like. And that’s expected, since they’re made from copper-nickel alloy, a material that does not stretch. We even find that no amount of penny-pinching will turn our pennies into a hundred dollar bill.
But, Readers, this is no time to invest in a giant magical money-changing machine invention that turns your pennies into impressively realistic counterfeit currency. (That was a bust.) Instead, try saving money on your next grocery trip, using a little something I like to call “free samples”–because that’s what they’re called.
That’s right, Readers, visit your nearby Trader Joes, New Seasons, and Whole Foods, and you’ll find a delectable variety of foods to meet your every food group need. All you need is to master the use of those itty-bitty plastic sample spoons, and you’ll be eating in (free)style in no time!
I learned this trick at a young age, when my parents would take my friend and I to Costco on the weekends, since we didn’t have the time or money for a real family vacation. But who needs one, because that giant warehouse is a little taste of Disneyland magic all by itself! Around every turn there was a new packaged food just moments from fulfilling its life’s mission of pleasing my mouth.
Even at a young age, my friend and I intrinsically knew that if one sample was good, multiple samples were even better. We needed to avoid potential detection on return trips to the same sample cart. So we disguised ourselves. We would switch it up with a quick hairstyle change, colored contacts, or a limp. Sometimes we even exchanged clothes until we were reported for streaking.
Now obviously, Readers, that stuff’s for amateurs. These days, if you’re going to do this right, you need to invest in the hard stuff. I’m talking wigs, multiple pairs of sunglasses (but don’t wear them all at once–that looks suspicious), and a trenchcoat in every neutral color.
Just remember, Readers, don’t fall prey to the classic decoy; that is, the apparently innocuous discourse with the provider of the samples. Once the provider connects your face to your voice, the threat of exposure surges exponentially. I committed this faux pas during my fourteenth trip—-in a day—-to Whole Foods during their recent annual coffee tasting event.
“Gee, this looks good,” I ventured innocently, “Can I try some?”
“Oh, I remember you,” the enemy replied, “You were just here! You sure you want more??”
As a person of integrity, I believe–much like the last administration–in coming clean, and acknowledging our more unscrupulous acts. So, with our former leader as my shining example, I did what any respectable person in my shoes would do.
“I’m a member of an elite central coffee consumption intelligence agency (CCCIA), dedicated to halting the practice of introducing harmfully addictive yet delicious substances into society. Our covert coffee company received a leak we had to investigate. Turned out it was the plumbing. We also received inside information that your coffee—-which is delicious, can I have another?—-contains caffeine, a highly addictive substance. I must now perform an official coffee confiscation procedure–an exorcism for the addict, if you will–and remove all traces of this coffee from the premises. And let me grab another sample for the road–I mean, to test for further caffeine contamination.”
I downed my sample, donned my wig and mustache, and was on my way.
Keeping my suggestions in mind, you can rest easy, Readers, knowing that your food supply will always be plentiful. You may lose your job, your house, your car, and your savings, but you will be well-fed and highly caffeinated as you contemplate your next sample stop.