Donald MacInnes: Stop being a dinosaur and start snipping coupons to save cash

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The Independent Online

I would never, of course, dare to suggest that he is repeating himself creatively, but your man Spielberg has definite previous when it comes to violent, thrilling films about large quadrupeds thundering through an unfamiliar terrain into which they have been introduced against their will, with death very much on the agenda for everyone involved.

Of course, Jurassic Park differs from War Horse in that, in the earlier film, while the dinosaurs may have been getting shot at as much as poor Dobbin (don't know his name; haven't seen it yet) in the current smash hit movie, I would imagine that our hero eats apples, hay and sugar lumps, rather than garishly-branded Jeeps and the people screaming within them. (There are other differences, of course. I wouldn't recommend throwing a saddle on a Tyrannosaurus and entering the 2.15 at Newmarket, as it's bound to trigger a full-blown panic, if not a stewards' inquiry).

I mention Jurassic Park, only because there's a scene where Richard Attenborough's character (who owns and runs the dinosaur-populated theme park) is talking to his slimy, vulpine lawyer, who is very excited about how much they will be able to charge punters to come to the island. There's talk of $10,000 a day. But, being Scottish and therefore an egalitarian, magnanimous man of the people, Attenborough's character insists he doesn't want to price out the ordinary folk, so the lawyer sniffily and dismissively suggests the idea of a coupon day, for those with more modest means. how things change. in 1993, when the film was released, Jurassic Park reflected the opinion that people who snipped vouchers out of the Sunday paper were perceived as being a little, well, shell-suity; a little Wayne and Waynetta.

But now there is no stigma about using a voucher website like Groupon to get a few quid off your next pizza. In the same way that in 2012, dinosaurs don't thunder across the land, making water in cups ripple, now if you tell your dinner companions you have a voucher which entitles all of you to a free slice of Battenberg cake, they are unlikely to sneer and talk about you in the taxi home.

Well, they might, but that would be more down to your letting slip that you watch Desperate Scousewives and have a bit of a thing for Ed Miliband. Not that there's anything wrong with fancying Ed Miliband. And who knows what could happen in the future? Blimey, if money-off coupons can achieve social acceptability, anything's possible.

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