Caffeine and Cash

At first I was so pleased that my husband and I got these offers in the mail. I mean, it’s a free $5-purchase at Starbucks. Thank you, Our Bank, for such a nice surprise. Y’all rock. However, on a closer read, I quickly became less happy. For instance, to receive the gift card, you have to use your debit card as a credit card, which I rarely do. And it naturally makes me suspicious — why is Our Bank pushing the credit-card angle? Obviously something’s in it for Our Bank and to distract us from asking questions, Our Bank is dangling a coffee-flavored carrot in front of us. Hmm … Also, note that these two cards require two different numbers of purchases to receive the gift card. The one for my husband, who maybe has used his debit card at a Starbucks perhaps twice ever, says “20 purchases” and the one for me, who knows every Starbucks employee in three states, says “33 purchases.” Thirty-three? Really, 33??? I’d love to see the calculations that came up with that number. And, finally, there is probably only one Starbucks near any of Our Bank’s locations, not to mention the fact that Our Bank markets itself as a hometown homegrown business — the sort of opposite of Starbucks. I wonder how well these Starbucks offers have gone over with Our Bank’s customers. Not great, I’m betting, although coffee and money are two essentials in my life.

And now for something completely different. Have you ever wondered what really happens on the other side of Friday-night lights? I’m talking about the center of high-school football: Sports desks at local newspapers. Read my weekly newspaper column to get an inside glimpse of the sprints, the tackles and the fumbles involved in getting info from dozens of games to press in the space of about a couple of hours. And you thought play-offs were stressful!