Friday Happy Hour: Would You Like M&M's With That?

Jason English

Every Friday, I post a series of unrelated questions meant to spark conversation in the comments. Answer one, answer all, respond to someone else's reply, whatever you want. Very casual. On to this week's topics of discussion...

1. "Would you like any M&M's with that?"

I was buying cough medicine and an SD card. It was only natural the Walgreens cashier would ask.

More and more, retailers are trying to squeeze a few more dollars out of you at the register. Some of these efforts make sense. Batteries, for example. But others are a stretch. At a newsstand in the Port Authority Bus Terminal on Wednesday, I was asked if I needed a bottle of water to go with my gum. A big ad at the counter shows off the bottle, with the words "It's Resealable!" doing their best to convince me. What's the weirdest item you've been marketed during checkout?

2. Growing up, we lived near a guy who was really nice, but a bit too into the neighborhood kids for our parents' comfort. (Two unrelated tangents: The first time we met him, the first words out of his mouth were, "Please don't tell me who won the Red Sox-Blue Jays game. I taped it." He also liked to dunk a mini-basketball in our 8-foot hoop when he didn't think anyone was home.) On Halloween, he would invite the kids he recognized into his kitchen, where he was keeping the good candy—a full size Snickers bar and an ice-cold Coke. For the next few months, he would reference his generosity every time we interacted. We were all a little relieved when he moved.

That little anecdote doesn't lead nicely into any particular question, so I'll ask this one: What's the strangest thing you ever received while trick-or-treating?

3. What's something you'd really like to be good at, but know you'll never put in the necessary time/effort? I am not very musical, but I'd love to play the harmonica. Seems like that would be a useful talent. Hearing people say, "Wow, I didn't know you could play the harmonica!" would never get old.

That's all for today. Happy Halloween!

[See all the previous Friday Happy Hour transcripts.]