Have you ever met my husband, Randy?

Maybe you’ve read his post about a memory from his younger years as a boy growing up on a farm, or marveled at his talent as the Singing Muffin Man, or the hand behind Slocum, the singing puppet shadow dog? Maybe? Well, if not, he’s back to share some thoughts with you today.


I’m on the hunt these days for a retailer who will sell me some stuff at a decent price without trying to set me up with one of those stinkin’ bonus or rewards cards. It never fails, I try to run in to grab some shaving cream, herbicide, and peanut M&M’s, then the nice clerk rings me up, and kindly asks, “Are you a member of our rewards club?”

I’ll admit, that question hits close to home. You see I didn’t have the means to own a Members Only jacket back in the day and it still stings. A small part of me wants to be a member of a club, for a little redemption.

Next comes the, “Would you like to sign up today and receive a 20% discount?”

It’s not like I can refuse. I’d feel like such a snob leaving 20% on the table. Plus that Scots Irish frugality runs awfully deep.

Wising up I reply, “How about you give me the discount and I keep my anonymity?”

“Silly man. It’ll only take a minute. Just give us your SS# and mobile phone number, and I promise we won’t compromise your privacy. We’ll just track your spending and eating habits and constant whereabouts so we can serve you better.”

I usually relent then feel dirty afterward.

Instead, this is how it should work…

Mr. Retailer, we’ll engage in a mutually beneficial business transaction. I’ll give you my money in exchange for your stuff and I get the lowest price without regard to my club affiliations. That’s as far as I’ll go. I may or may not come back to your store. We’re all free agents here.

Who’s with me?!?

And while I’m at it, how would I keep up with all those key chain things with the bar codes anyway? I’m certainly not going to put them on my key chain. What goes in your pocket says a lot about who you are: pocketknife, Chapstick, tire gauge, quail feather. I don’t want to be reminded every time I take my car keys out that, yes, I’m a Food Trough® Club Member. No thank you Mr. Retail Store. I’m just not that into you.

So here’s what I’m thinking. Next time some store tries to snag me into their rewards program, I’m going to present the store manager with my own store loyalty application. In exchange for the store completing my application, including the SS# and mobile phone number of the company CEO, I’d be willing to pay the asking price for the items in my shopping cart. If they refuse to complete the form, I’ll offer to pay only 80% of the value in my cart.

What’s good for the goose?  No?

I’ll let you know how it goes.

~ Randy