A few months ago TG regaled me in his own inimitable fashion about his exploits at Kangaroo Express.
He is such a romantic.
Specifically, he told me what he'd learned when inquiring as to the debut date of the 2013 RooCup.
No, it's not a trophy. It's a plastic cup and as I've told you before, my TG has a natural affinity for plastic cups.
And his story proves once again that nothing excites the American psyche quite like free -- or semi-free -- refills.
The RooCup is a beverage container that you buy -- last year it cost five ninety-nine but it's gone up a dollar, to six ninety-nine -- at a late-spring date set by Kangaroo Express.
Through Labor Day and sometimes even beyond -- like, this year the cutoff date is September 24th -- ownership of a RooCup allows you to fill the practically-quart-sized vessel with any fountain or frozen beverage KE offers, for only a quarter.
You can use your RooCup as many times a day, week, or month you want, through its "expiration" date.
A devotee of the RooCup since its inception -- no, I don't know when that was -- TG upon checkout at a KE sometime this past March, asked the cashier when the new RooCups would be available for sale.
"Oh well, you have to go online and reserve your cup in order to get yours this year," she told him. "You're not going to be able to just walk in and buy one."
I may not be quoting her verbatim -- I was not there -- but that's what TG told me she said.
I do know exactly what he said in response: "You're kidding me."
Said checkout personnel assured TG she would not kid about so serious a matter.
So naturally TG asked me to go online and find out what he had to do in order to roo-serve his cup, which prize item he is unwilling to do without.
(Sometimes he carries his expired 2012 RooCup boldly into a Kangaroo Express, fills it to the brim with ice and fizzy Coke, and takes it to the counter. He doesn't necessarily expect to get his drink for a quarter; he just likes his cup. It's all nice and broken in. One cashier thought it was so funny he still had his last year's cup, she gave him the drink for free.)
Back to our saga.
I found on the KE website that in order to get a "certificate" good for acquisition of a 2013 RooCup, one had to hop onto the Kangaroo Express facebook page and "like" them.
Except, neither TG nor I have facebook accounts.
And speaking only for myself, it's going to stay that way.
To quote TG on the subject of signing up for a facebook account of his own: "Haaaaa. Never."
So we were stuck until I remembered that three of our four children have facebook accounts.
And why have kids if they cannot help you in your time of direst need?
By that time I had decided I wanted to give my son-in-law a 2013 RooCup for his birthday on May first.
(No that's not all I got him. Step off.)
So we needed not one, but two certificates obtained through the KE facebook page, for making said Roo-servations.
I called Erica and got my own bases covered.
"Erica," I said. "Go on facebook and sign up for a 2013 RooCup and send me the certificate, okay?"
My daughter was loath to do so because she had deactivated her account. But she gave me her password and said I was welcome to reactivate her account long enough to procure a certificate for a 2013 RooCup.
Which I did, and while I was on the Kangaroo Express facebook page I could not help but notice that people were roo-ing the day they could get only ONE 2013 RooCup.
One lady whined: "But all my kids want their own summer RooCup! Whatever shall I do if I can buy only one?"
I felt sort of sorry for her but I quickly got my own certificate (for Joel) and backed away quietly, leaving Kangaroo Express to deal with their own facebook fallout.
When I mailed Joel's birthday card I tucked in the certificate (bearing Erica's deactivated facebook picture) plus a five and two singles.
I called Stephanie and told her to tell him, take this paper to a Kangaroo Express and give it to the cashier with the seven dollars, and explain that he doesn't have a facebook account but his sister-in-law does, and she did him a solid and let his mother-in-law use her account to get his certificate, and hand over the 2013 RooCup already and nobody will get hurt.
Steph said OK, don't worry, consider it done.
But that left TG without a certificate for a 2013 RooCup.
So I called my son Andrew -- the only member of our family with an active facebook account -- and asked if he'd mind going onto the Kangaroo Express page and securing a 2013 RooCup certificate for Dear Old Dad.
"Sure," he said.
BUT once he'd done that, he called TG.
"Wow Dad," said Andrew. "I guess it's a good thing I don't want my own 2013 RooCup, since now I've sent my only certificate to you."
"Sorry son," said TG. That's a direct quote.
So I called Audrey -- kid number three with a facebook account, although hers had also been deactivated and she hadn't been "on" in awhile.
"Hey Audge," I said. "Do me a favor. Go on the Kangaroo Express facebook page and print out your certificate for a 2013 RooCup and give it to Andrew."
(I knew Audrey would not pout for a RooCup of her own. She's trying to drink less soda pop, not more.)
She said she would comply with my request. Later she called me.
"I went on facebook and saw that Andrew already got a certificate for a 2013 RooCup, so I didn't get mine for him to use because obviously he doesn't need it."
I briefly considered moving to Australia.
But: "Noooooo," I said. "Andrew got his certificate for Dad because Erica got her certificate for me to give to Joel, and now Andrew is out of sorts because he can't get his own RooCup, and now it's up to you to save the day."
"Oh," she said.
I still don't know if she got her 2013 RooCup certificate and gave it to Andrew. I'm almost afraid to ask.
One day Coke will run in the streets over this!
Meanwhile TG, having obtained his certificate via Andrew, printed it out. Last week he moseyed into the nearest Kangaroo Express to claim his prize.
He slapped the paper -- bearing a very official bar code and Andrew's facebook picture -- onto the counter and pointed to the staggering array of 2013 RooCups on the wall behind the male cashier.
"I've come to claim my 2013 RooCup," he announced. No need to beat around the bush.
The cashier looked at TG's paper in exactly the way proverbial calves gaze wide-eyed at new gates.
In other words, he did not appear to have the slightest idea what the "certificate" was for.
But he dutifully plucked a 2013 RooCup down from the wall behind him and put it on the counter for TG, who had his debit card out, all ready to swipe for six ninety-nine and applicable state, federal, and welfare entitlement taxes.
There may have been a cosmic drumroll as the cashier scanned the bar code on TG's certificate.
A kangaroo angel got its wings.
"That'll be forty-nine cents," the clerk told TG.
Not seven dollars and forty-eight cents for a whole summer's worth of fizzy Coca-Cola refreshing my TG as he goes hither and yon on his many travels?
No. Forty-nine cents.
TG repeated what he said to the KE cashier back in March: "You're kidding me."
It could be there has been no small amount of misinformation surrounding the 2013 RooCup and various modes of getting yours into your hot little hand, should that be something to which you aspire.
This article may explain it.
To summarize, I think the "certificate" obtained by "liking" the Kangaroo Express on facebook was just for laying claim to your cup a week earlier -- like, on April 24th -- than everyone else who had to wait until the official 2013 RooCup purchase date of May first.
In other words, it was meant as a Pre-Roo-gistration gimmick.
All this sturm und drang over a Machiavellian marketing ploy by Kangaroo Express.
But seriously? The certificate TG thought he needed -- but apparently didn't, after all -- got him his 2013 RooCup for free.
Except for taxes.
We know we'll always pay the taxes.
Hey! I've got seven fifty and all this storytelling has made me thirsty. Going now to find the nearest Kangaroo Express, y'all.
Happy Monday ~ Happy Week