Grocery Store Gift Card


I try not to get too overly concerned with how people find out so much about me these days. It seems they can find out anything and everything they want. So, when I received a flyer in the mail that was addressed to me, by name in lieu of “Resident”, it didn’t raise any flags. They knew my name and my address. So what? And when I opened it and gave it the quick once over and found out they knew I was a veteran, that didn’t bother me much either. Although, I suppose the fact that some commercial entity whom I have no ties to, had my name, address and military information, should have at least made me a bit curious as to how and why they knew so much about me. But like I said, it didn’t set off and warning bells and I didn’t really care.

The thing that did bother me was they offered me a $25 Grocery Store Gift Card. It wasn’t a hundred dollars or two hundred dollars or five hundred dollars or a year or decade of groceries. It was only $25, and I wondered why. Why only $25?

The following is, word for word, how the flyer read.

“FREE GROCERIES! Receive a $25 Grocery Store Gift Card for taking a 15 minute tour of our Historic Cemetery, including our newly developed Veterans Section and Cremation Areas.”

I was shocked.

They knew my name.

They knew my address.

They knew I was a veteran.

They seemed to be aware that I like Historic stuff.

And they somehow found out I’m planning on being cremated.

They knew a bunch of stuff about me. So when I saw they were only offering a $25 Grocery Store Gift Card, I wondered, do they know something I don’t know? Is $25 of groceries going to carry me over for the duration?

To make it worse, when I scanned further down the page it said, “LIMITED TIME OFFER.” Limited time offer? What the hell is that suppose to mean? If I wait a few more days are they only going to give me a $10 card, or is it going to be too late to take up their offer? Then the flyer went on to say that the “Tour must take place by September 30th, 2015,” and that’s when panic began setting in. I immediately wondered if that date was significant. What happens on September 30th that couldn’t wait until October 9th or November 16th? Or better yet, why couldn’t it wait until 2040 or some other distant year?

As I sat and wrote this post on September 15th, I wondered how these people know so much about me. I’m wondered, why only $25? Even worse, I had to wait 15 more days to see if September 30th is “the day”. Today is the 26th. Only four more days after today.

Man. Junk mail is getting too stressful for me. I hope my wife isn’t upset if I croak on the 30th and didn’t go pick up the $25 grocery store Gift Card.


B.M. Simpson, author and still alive at the time of writing this.


B.M. Simpson

About B.M. Simpson

B.M. SIMPSON was born in rural Maine. He joined the Air Force at 18 and lived and moved across the U.S. and Europe. After retiring from the Air Force, he spent nearly a decade living and working in the Caribbean. On the islands of Anguilla, St. Kitts and Grand Cayman, he discovered a passion for island life and formed friendships second to none. In 2015 he released his first novel, Island Dogs, and he followed it up with his second, Avis Humphrey. Today Simpson calls South Sound, Grand Cayman home, and he continues to travel to and work in the Caribbean. Despite his blue water passion, he holds onto old friendships and cherishes his New England roots. He is currently writing his next novel, Bella Vita.