If there’s two things I love in this world, it’s a good woman and a good sale. If there’s two more, it’s a stiff drink and a steak sandwich. And if there’s two more after that, I’ll take a Mad Men marathon and 12-hour Ambien-induced night of sleep. But, to go back to my original point, quote me a deep discount on a quality Russian bride and I’m a happy man.
When it comes to sales, my love doesn’t even stem so much from the fact that I’m saving money; it’s that I’m getting something for less money than other people paid for it. Without even trying, I’ve outwitted someone else who was gullible enough to spend 30% more for their sheets than I did. One time, I even spent $49.99 on a bath mat for no other reason than that it was marked down from $150. To this day, I dream of the moment when I will have company over and as they exit the bathroom they’ll say, “Hey, I have the same bath mat at home,” and I’ll leap from my chair and yell, “$49.99!”
So when I was in CVS the other day buying vitamins, I was naturally psyched to see that Centrum was on sale. Now, I don’t have an allegiance to any brand of vitamin. It’s not like I think One-a-Day’s iron is any more potent than Centrum’s. Except that the only Centrum variety that was on sale was Centrum Silver – the multi-vitamin specially formulated for people 50 and over.
Initially, I balk. I’m a strapping young man, so there’s no reason for me to be taking whatever kind of osteoporosis-fighting minerals they’re putting in Centrum Silver. On a whim, though, I look at the label. And it turns out that Centrum Silver has the same ingredients as regular Centrum, just more of it.
I’m still studying the two labels in shock at my new discovery when an elderly woman approaches me holding two bottles of fish oil. She holds them up to my face and says, “Can you tell me the difference between these two bottles? One is $8 cheaper than the other one!”
“For starters,” I answer, “The more expensive bottle has 180 pills in it. The cheaper one only has 100. Plus the more expensive one seems to prevent fish burps, if that is important to you.”
She looked me in the eye like, “Did you just say fish burp to me?” and walked back over to the shelf more confused than thankful. And it was then that I decided to buy the Centrum Silver. It all made sense: Centrum Silver was part of a conspiracy designed by the multi-vitamin industry to keep everyone just healthy enough to need their product when they’re young, but not so healthy that they don’t need it when they’re old. And if Centrum wants me to wait until I’m forty-nine years, three-hundred and sixty four days old to start getting healthy, well fuck them.
I bought the bottle, smiling not only about the economic deal I got but the deal I got on cheating death. When I got home, I put the bag on the counter.
Brooke: (taking bottle of Centrum Silver out of CVS bag) “Is there a reason you bought the vitamins for old people?”
Me: “It was on sale. Plus, I compared it with the regular stuff and get this: The only difference is that it has more vitamins and more antioxidants. I love vitamins and antioxidants!” (popping open the top) “Do you want one now?”
Brooke: “No thanks, I’ll hold off . . . until I’m 50.”
A good deal and a good woman, and I’m a happy man.