by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
“Daily News, Daily News, Pick up a copy any time you choose. Seven little pennies in the newsboy’s hand …..” (Tom Paxton - circa 1965). Although the price of a newspaper has increased a bit over the seven cents of the sixties, it still remains one of the true bargains in America. For less than $2.00, you can still have the Sunday news delivered to your door, read the comics, check the sports scores, and get the latest update on the status of Denny Hecker. But in addition, on Sunday, there are generally several booklets full of coupons where you can save over $100.00 on weekly purchases. What they don’t broadcast, however, is that you would need to spend around $8000.00 in order to save that much. Thirty different brands of hand lotion, but I only have two hands. A medicine cabinet full of over the counter pain remedies. Sorry, but I’m still working on the bottle of Motrin I bought in 2003. Enough mouthwash, toothpaste, and bathroom cleaners to last all year. Pet food, - well I have no pets, and all kinds of reduced calorie snacks, and pills to support that New Year’s diet. Actually, lettuce, cucumbers, and celery work better than a pill and a 100 calorie cookie. I didn’t find coupons for many things I use, but I will save $1.00 this week when I buy two boxes of ZipLok bags.
There are other enticements to keep you in the stores in January, after running up that credit card while playing Santa Claus last month. I picked up a few small gift cards as a reward for December purchases. They won’t expire so I can wait. But I made a major purchase at Sports Authority, (Formerly Sportmart) and received a $25.00 voucher on a future purchase. It is only good during a ten day window beginning January 9, presumably to give them time to raise all the Christmas sale prices back to normal. But when I was there last month, I noticed a small section of the store devoted to bowling. Most of the products were from Ebonite, and the quality of the products from a respected name in bowling, left something to be desired. They also had a selection of bowling balls, mostly plastic, 12 pounds and under. Pro shops need not worry about bowlers buying them for $50.00 and bringing them in for drilling, they already have three holes in them, able to fit the hands of most youth players under the age of 12. I suppose there is a market, but I think it’s a shame. I began bowling in the 50’s when you walked by the row of speckled black balls and found one that was too heavy and fit about as well as your hand me down pants from your cousin. I’m not sure at what point people should began fitting and sizing bowling balls for kids, I know it can be expensive, but I was never any good at the sport until I started to patronize pro shops. Come to think about it, I’m still not very good, but at least my equipment fits.