Opinion: Subtraction by addition


For many years, my wife counseled me not to pay the $25 for the annual Entertainment Book, which is just brimming with awesome discounts for our summer enjoyment. Mary Ellen was sure we’d never use the coupons, or they’d be for the wrong day, or they’d be expired. I bought a copy, anyway.

In June, I told Mary Ellen that over the summer we are going to go to every place in this book, all 569 of them. Think of the money we’ll save! Think of the fun we’ll have! It will be like a second honeymoon, only this time we’ll get two, one-topping pizzas for the price of one.

I laid out our cost-saving itinerary. My wife was not impressed.

“Dinner at DQ is OK, but do we have to play a game of Laser Tag the same night?” she said.

“First of all, it’s not one game, it’s two,” I said. “It’s the second game that’s free. How many times do I have to explain this to you?”

Mary Ellen had a point. The last couple of months have been exhausting. Morgan’s River Rentals in Brookville may have been an especially bad choice. To get the discount, we had to rent two boats. We would have been less tired if we were in the same canoe.

We were like kids the first week: trampolining, wall climbing and go-karting for half price. Mary Ellen swung at 100 mph fastballs, which got us two free rounds of Putt-Putt, which we hated-hated.

We had lots of dining choices – more than 150 restaurants to choose from, 100 of which were pizza. About 25 of those had gone out of business already.

We went to the Muncie Children’s Museum and the Basketball Hall of Fame Museum (buy one admission, get one free) and the aquarium in Newport, Ky., which includes a free kids’ ticket if you buy an adult ticket. But we forgot to bring a kid. The Burger Kings in that town made it a worthwhile trip. There are still two free Whoppers in my glove compartment.

Overall, we’ve had a great summer. We saved about $1,200. And it only cost us $4,000.

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