When they find each other, it's heart-warming, but disconcerting. They happily encourage each other in the pursuit of their peculiar passion. To their flier-fed indulgence, the connection they form adds mutually massive amounts of momentum.
My son wanted to bring a friend over. The mother of the friend called my wife to see whether the visit was OK. How the subject came up, I can only imagine, but Susan and Jennifer somehow discovered their shared passion for Publi-Sac.
Publi-Sac fanatics treat the contents of the tacky plastic bag with misguided awe. They lurk, most often in the early morning hours, like solitary wolves, sipping their steaming teas and coffees, as they intently pore over the week's specials.
Some have fliers stacked neatly on the kitchen table, while others have them strewn sloppily across the bed. I've met one who, while hunched in her seat on the commuter train, scouring her countless fliers, will scold and scowl at those who dare to disturb her ritualized research. They may differ in technique but, make no mistake, the craving for deals is no less intense from one to the other.
Publi-Sac fanatics silently and stealthily stalk the aisles of supermarkets, fruit stands, department stores, pharmacies and electronics shops. With single-minded determination and the occasional unsuppressed snarl, they search for specials promised in the pages of the flimsy and colorful weekly fliers that stuff our mailboxes.
If only that were all they stuffed!
I steer clear of some cupboards in our home. They've become danger zones and I imagine them surrounded by blinking red lights, barbed wire and barking buzzers. Pulling this cupboard open during a momentary lapse of judgement, will see you quickly buried by a slow-sliding mountain of fliers, dating back to Confederation.
Susan loves her fliers and if they aren't rammed into our mailbox on-time, she stares wistfully out the front window for hours on-end, her eyes hopefully scanning the length of the street.
The bag's arrival brings joy, but once it is opened, even for this preliminary perusal, she is not to be disturbed. I wonder, did she cram for finals with as much zeal?
Where's the adventure if you're told where to go and what to look for and if the whole world is going there with you, in search of the same specials? The Publi-Sac, unapologetically, threatens to absorb otherwise normal and civilized people into the herds of wal-mart oxen who greedily graze on the Plain of Bargain.
If I need laundry detergent, I buy it where I see it. I'm not eager to venture into the parallel-laned pastures of the grunting and smelly wal-mar t oxen. Having my foot crushed by clumsy hooves, or having to steer around fresh mounds of stinking oxen dung; none of that appeals to me! Nevermind what the fliers promise; poop on Publi-Sac!
What a thrill to be wandering the aisles of the grocery store only to stumble, unexpectedly and spontaneously, upon two-for-one cucumbers! It's innocent serendipity versus the push of propaganda, surely you can appreciate the difference.
I'm not a complete galoot. In fairness, having a Public-Sac fanatic in the house has its upside! If I need the cheapest price on something, I don't have to go far. Chilling but true, the other day, Susan casually rattled off all the styles of Levi jeans a certain department store keeps on its shelves.
She's become a resource centre for prospective cell phone buyers! She is constantly consulted by colleagues, relatives and friends in search of the most consumer-friendly cell phones and cell phone packages.
She is the last word on bargain bottled water!
Still, to accompany her on a bargain hunt is beyond my physical and emotional stamina. For me, a trip to Ikea is like chatting with a Dementor.
Moreover, Animal Planet forgot to mention wal-mart oxen migrate between the aisles of their natural habitat and the aforementioned Swedish furniture store!
A Publi-Sac fanatic is a lot to deal with, I know, but therapy provides a big boost.
Just don't day the words "candle party" around me; I'll need a peaceful week at meditation camp before I can even go there.