Once upon a time there was a fat little green coupon folder. There was nothing especially attractive about it. It was just a small accordion-style folder with a stretchy strap to keep the flap closed. But the folder's owner was very fond of it. She took Folder with her into every drug store, grocery store, convenience store, hardware store, department store, and discount store she went to. Folder always got a warm, fluttery feeling when his owner would whip him out on an aisle of one of the stores (Walgreen's was his favorite) and begin filing through for just the right coupon. Most of the time, even Folder didn't know what she was looking for, and certainly no one else could have followed her train of thought as she happened to catch a glimpse of a yellow sale ad taped to a shelf. Even if she tried to explain how buying the ZipFizz would actually save her $3 off her transaction, the response was usually, "I'll take your word for it."
Folder got used to the quick transfers from purse to cart handle, out of Baby's Herculean grip, onto the floor, back to cart handle for half a second before being set unceremoniously on an empty portion of a shelf for some serious fileage. But always he would leave the store safely tucked into his owner's humongous purse that also served as a diaper bag, smiling softly to himself as he thought of all the money he had had so noble a part in saving his owner.
One day Folder got to ride with the owner's entire family to a very cool grocery store. The owners didn't usually shop there because their prices were so much higher than Aldi's, but today was TRIPLE COUPON DAY at the fancy grocery store. Folder was so excited. He never got out at Aldi, but at the fancy grocery store, he was pulled out at almost every stop. You see, this purchase would be especially complicated because the store allowed only 6 coupons per transaction. So Folder's owner and her husband were checking out separately with different coupons. All this made for loads of excitement. Folder's owner had made a list on the Internet from the store's ad of the things that were a good deal and that she had a coupon for. The store let them print this list at a special kiosk, so it saved the owners from using their own paper.
With list in one hand and Folder in the other the owner and her family navigated the fancy grocery store making the most they could of Triple Coupon Day and the store's plentiful B1G1 sales. The last stop was the juice aisle to get a certain brand of pomegranate juice. Since it was the last stop, the owners were both preoccupied with distributing the right products to the right cart and lining up the corresponding coupons. Folder chuckled to himself as he envisioned how happy his owners would be when they looked at the receipts and saw what their savings had been. He also wished he could do something to entertain the baby who was getting restless.
It must have been the confusion of transferring items; maybe it was the fact that the juice on sale and the intended coupon did not coincide as originally planned; or maybe it was the baby's eagerness for the cart to start rolling again. Whatever it was, Folder watched in silent dismay as both his owners and the baby pulled out of the juice aisle and headed for the check-out to triple the piddly few coupons they clutched in their hands while he sat there stuffed full of hundreds more.
Folder could not have known what was happening back at the owners' house. How they glibly made the entire trip home not even noticing his absence from his usual place in the humongous diaper bag purse. All through an entire Sunday, Folder knew it would not be likely that he would be missed. Rarely did his owner utilize him on that day. Folder would have been relieved to see the utter dismay and even horror on the face of his beloved owner when at last, on Monday, the sickening truth dawned upon her, "I left my Coupon Folder in Bloom!"
In great loneliness Folder sat at the lost and found at the fancy grocery store, ignorant that at that very moment, his owner, with heart pounding, was making a call to Barbara at Bloom. In response to Barbara's inquiry as to how she could make the owner happy, the owner began to explain her loss. Folder whiled away the hours in the store safe waiting for the less and less likely arrival of his owner. How could he have know that the owner's husband was working in a different location than normal and absolutely could not swing by that day? How could Folder have possibly anticipated a return to a normal schedule the following day that would result in the happy reunion with the owner's husband, and at the end of the work day, with his beloved owner herself? But that is exactly what happened to Folder.
And if Folder could talk, I suppose his bit of wisdom for all of us would be, "I suppose you'll be more careful now, won't you?"