Sometimes I just don’t understand some people. My parents, for example, are a curious study. My parents love scouring grocery store ads to find out which of their favourite foods are on sale. They can be incredibly cheap with things like that. Meanwhile, my father will buy all kinds of electronics and only ever use them sporadically. His newest purchase was yet another digital camera, his third in about five years; this one was bought because it has a brighter LCD screen and an old-fashioned peep hole. And yet they won’t buy 2 litre bottles of Diet Coke unless it’s on sale for a dollar.
Somehow, they’ve figured out that for at least two weeks per month, one of the 5 or 6 grocery, supermarket, or superstore chains surrounding their house will have bottles of Diet Coke on sale at 4 for $4 or something like that. This not only means a trek to one of these stores to pick up the Coke, but also it means stockpiling with up to 10 bottles in the rare event that the sale may never come back. The basement is filled usually with a larger reserve than the Canadian army. Sometimes I feel like they might begin to conspire against me.
The funny part is, they’re not alone. It seems like my mother is always on top of the store du jour that has the sale, and she soon informs every Coke-drinking friend she has. I think I also have to mention that in my family, Pepsi products are just not acceptable. It’s Diet Coke or nothing.
What confounds me the most is their willingness to drive up to 20 minutes just to get the bottles of Coke. There are 3 different supermarkets within a 5 minute drive, including one discount supermarket. When not on sale, I’m pretty sure Coke sells for no more than $1.50. Now I may not be a mathematician (even if I pretend I am when I teach grade five students), but I’m pretty sure the price of gas to get a half dozen bottles at $1 20 minutes away is far more than the 5 minute drive to get them at $1.50 at the closest supermarket. But then, they’re not on sale. And there are only 9 bottles left in the basement. At least sometimes in the summer my parents will bike to the grocery store if ever they need a couple of quick items; in my mind it makes up for the extra driving they expend in search of discount Diet Coke. Personally, I prefer water.