This is the Grand Opening of Gary Gripes. That would likely make you think that this is the first episode, but you would be wrong. I was listening to a radio commercial for a new car dealer that opened for business nearly three months ago, but was loudly told that its Grand Opening was this Saturday. Evidently there are openings and then there are Grand Openings. — Go figure.

As best I can tell from the radio, the main thing about a Grand Opening and a regular opening involves balloons and ribbons, free hot dogs and drinks of an undefined variety, at least one clown, and a live country band. Oh yes, I nearly forgot: there are also once in a lifetime Grand Opening deals on cars and pickup trucks.

That last attraction makes me wonder if not picking up on one of those once in a lifetime deals this Saturday means that the car or pickup truck purchased just after the regular opening three months ago was way overpriced. Now there is something to gripe about: finding out three months later that your shiny new pickup was thousands of dollars too much. We know that because the radio ad assures us that we will save thousands of dollars if we buy a new car or pickup this Saturday. That can only be as compared to what we would have paid three months ago.

Finding out that buying a car or truck a month ago or anytime after this Saturday was or will be a really bad deal, a thousands of dollars too much deal, I also learned that much of what I heard or thought I heard in the radio ad may not be true or at least I may not be as sure as I thought I was. After I thought the ad was over, a quiet monotone voice said something about something I think was related to the add I just heard. It was too quiet to catch my attention and way too fast for me or likely anyone else to understand. My speculation is that I was just told that the deal I thought I heard is not actually nearly as good as I thought it was. Gripe worthy? I think so. Remember that those intelligible add-ons are called disclaimers. Even the new dealer won’t claim what we think it said in the ad.

That gets me around to Gary Gripes’ Grand Opening. No balloons. No ribbons. No clown. And not even one once in a lifetime deal. On the positive side, there is no need for a disclaimer. What you think you get is what you get. Now just how refreshing is that?

I know, you think I forgot the country band. I sure didn’t. All you need to do is open your mind and imagination for a few minutes. The band is here for you. OK, it’s almost here for you.

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I hope you are OK with how I just slipped in those three little promotions. After all, it is Gary Gripes’ Grand Opening.

Now for the country band.