I had one of those weeks.
I didn’t win the Texas Lottery Saturday night, but I landed a stroke of luck that will keep me in the lap of luxury for years to come.
I went to CVS for a big jar of cashews – the Cadillac with nuts. I am worth cashew nuts. I don’t know why, but cashews are really cheap at CVS. I paid and stepped aside as the cash register printed my receipt with coupons for $ 3 on every vitamin purchase, $ 5 on Hallmark cards, $ 3 on cold / cough / flu relief, etc.
The answer to why CVS receipts are so long: It’s still a cheaper way to distribute coupons than direct mail.
Every now and then one of these coupons will come with an “ExtraBucks Reward” – free money that you can spend on anything in the store. The coupons are usually $ 1 or $ 2. Occasionally I get an “ExtraBucks Reward” for $ 5. A shopping spree begins. I tell the cashier I’ll be right back.
The largest Extra Bucks Reward I have ever received was $ 7.
I checked my receipt this week and there it was: an ExtraBucks Reward for … $ 0.01. A penny! The receipt mocked me.
What nasty algorithm in the CVS home office decided I spent enough on diet Pepsi and lightly salted cashews to earn a penny off my next purchase?
A zero-sum game
When CVS is out of Diet Pepsi, my runner-up will be Coke Zero. Last week I read that Cola was tinkering with the Coke Zero formula to make it taste more like regular Cola. Translation: Coke Zero sales are not good. The revamped lemonade gets a new color scheme for its cans and bottles – all red instead of the old red and black labels.
The new Coke Zero Sugar is supposedly a little sweeter than the old version. This changes everything at Chick-fil-A, one of the few fast food restaurants that run Coke Zero.
Everything revolves around the picture
I had an MRI last week – have you ever had one? It’s torture. I am claustrophobic. If I can’t get an aisle seat on the plane, I’ll wait for tomorrow’s flight. When I go to a concert or a sporting event, I need the aisle. According to the National Institute of Health, I’m not that unusual: 12.5 percent of Americans are afraid of closed places. An MRI is welcome in my nightmare.
There is no aisle seat in an MRI machine. They put me on a table and put me in a tube that was narrower than a Ronco sausage machine. They don’t let you wear headphones so you can listen to music or a podcast. No, you lie in there and hear the machine make loud popping noises. Enjoy your anxiety attack.
“How long will it take? Thirty to 40 minutes? Get me out of here!”
I survived the MRI because I have the strength of 10 men, the courage of a lion … and also because I took enough Xanax with me to stop a freight train.
A few days later, I spoke to my doctor, who said 25 percent of his patients could not handle an MRI because of claustrophobia. I said they have to invent an MRI machine that isn’t like a coffin that’s two sizes too small. He said, “There’s a place around here that has an open MRI.”
Wait what So why? Next time I’ll just pay someone to touch up my x-rays.
Our * real * favorite ice cream
I received an email from DoorDash with the results of the survey: What are Houston’s favorite ice creams? According to DoorDash, Houston’s five most popular flavors are:
1. Ice cream with churros
2. Ice cream float
This poll is insane. “Ice cream with churros” and “ice cream van” aren’t even flavors. And it didn’t help that DoorDash misspelled our town (‘Houtson’) in the email subject line. (Editor’s note: Well done, DoorDash.)
Want to know what the top 5 ice cream flavors in Houston really are?
1. Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla
2. Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla
3. Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla
4. Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla
5. Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla
According to a 2004 Forbes article, Blue Bell owns 60 percent of all ice cream sales in Texas. Although Blue Bell is only sold in 22 states today, it is the third largest ice cream maker in America.
Homemade vanilla is by far the most popular Blue Bell flavor. Homemade vanilla has its own shell in many supermarkets. In fact, Forbes still rates it as the best-selling ice cream in America.