In 1991, floppy-dicked idiot, Gregory Godek, released a stupid book called 1001 Ways to Be Romantic. It was a huge hit. Then he moved some words around and released 1001 More Ways to Be Romantic. Then he did it again, at least a dozen different times. After a decade and a half of this, he finally shrugged and put out a coupon book, the same gift you give your mother when you’re seven, adapted for fucking. He called it Love Coupons. Then three years later, he did it again. He called this second book Love Coupons.
This already would have the makings of a classic hot dog coupon off, but I’ve made fun of Godek before. I wanted to do something more. In the past, I’ve argued that his advice for love is useless or worse, but I wanted to somehow prove Godek is indistinguishable from someone deliberately trying to sabotage romance. And thanks to a book called i (don’t) heart valentine’s day! coupons, I think I can.
I have no idea if this is going to make sense, but i (don’t) heart valentine’s day! coupons (2010) by Unnamed Author is 22 coupons for single women with pedestrian senses of humor to give each other in order to mock what you or I might call love. Let me give you an example which may not help:
See, you give this coupon to a friend and they can, at any time, redeem it for a party where you and the girls play pin the tail on the donkey with a picture of someone’s ex. It’s something any good therapist would call “an insane idea, you crazy fucking cow.” And that’s the theme of the coupon book. It’s lonely activities based around bitterness and revenge, or finally, a The Anarchist Cookbook for her. Its stated goal is to destroy romance and the memory of romance, and as you’ll see, it shares most of its ideas with Godek. Let’s see one of Godek’s from Love Coupons, the first one:
We live in a vast and diverse world where everyone is into different things, but I think I speak for everyone when I declare this to be a nightmare. It’s a 24-hour invasion of privacy made “adorable” by a coupon. Or at best, it’s a mostly ordinary day for a couple living together made weird by a coupon. The point is, Godek’s idea of romance is giving a woman a ticket for a free man to watch her pee. Now let’s see one from i (don’t) heart valentine’s day! coupons:
This is the exact same coupon, only better because you get to do whatever you want. I’m not saying it’s good. This is a ticket allowing a presumably close friend to ask you to hang out, which is the closest you can come to giving someone you love nothing. Like Godek’s coupon, it adds an awkward service element to an already existing relationship and nothing else. It asks the question, “Am I only with you because I’m bound by cursed coupon law?” and then not quite saying no. Both of these coupons are like giving your wife a list of women you wouldn’t sleep with even if she died. Which is to say they’re technically fine, what’s weird about them!?
If you’re wondering how empty Godek’s brain was in 2009, this is the first coupon in Love Coupons, the second one. This is a ticket for three tickets for nothing, which is four steps and three dollars to get to where you were before you started. Or maybe five steps plus a trip to the gas station because she has to pick out the lottery tickets. This is a recurring theme of Godek’s books– letting the woman choose one thing like she’s a child at a zoo gift shop. His idea of a romantic gesture is letting her pick the pizza topping, as if getting everyone’s input isn’t a normal part of the pizza decision process. The local Domino’s knows Godek is in a romantic mood because he orders pepperoni instead of his usual– double horse shit on half, human dick on all. Let me show you what I mean:
So this is a coupon for you, the holder, to go pick out some flowers (you’re allowed to choose yourself(!)), and your lover will order them. And hold on, does this goddamn romance coupon have fine print? She has to give you three full days to get the flowers? Adding this kind of stipulation to a stupid little coupon firmly asks the question, “Or fucking what?” What are you going to do, your coupon majesty? A cop will look right into his own body cam and say, “I was called here to settle a coupon dispute so I’ve decided to shoot the couple, check this out.” If you and I are bad enough at romance that I’ve given you a gift certificate for flowers, there’s no way our relationship is surviving an argument over that gift certificate’s fine print. You might as well give your partner a piece of paper that says, “RESENT ME NOW, CONTEMPTIBLE APE.”
Godek considered this idea to be good enough for both coupon books. And here’s a nearly identical coupon from the book about hating romance . . .
. . . except it’s better because it happens 48 hours faster and allows for some thoughtfulness and surprise. Once again, I have proven Godek is worse at love than someone actively trying to destroy it. I’m done, it’s over, and yet I must continue!
“Here’s a fuck coupon, wife. But keep it short.” – Gregory Godek
“Here’s another fuck coupon, wife, but I make it weird.” – Gregory Godek
“Okay, last fuck coupon, wife. It’s for over 180 minutes of sex between the hours of noon and 4pm, void if I had a big lunch, once used this coupon may not be redeemed again if things end up closer to ten minutes.” – Gregory Godek
This is built into the concept here, but I want to point out how ridiculous it is to imagine a couple square enough to redeem lovemaking coupons who still endurance fuck through multiple wet spots. This is a terrible coupon. I’ve led a life erotic enough to know that after three hours, sex has gone from thrusting passion to a sore woman telling a very drunk man to concentrate. On the other hand, look at this coupon from the anti-valentine book:
It’s a ticket for a free nap! You give this to someone! I don’t know what it has to do with their loneliness or why you have the authority to control when they sleep, but it’s more pleasant than three hours of your holes being determinedly poked as legally required by coupon.
This is a Godek one. You can tell because it’s a coupon for a kiss. But wait, there’s more! It’s a very good kiss. We know this isn’t coded language for fucking because there are already ten coupons redeemable for fucking. This is a coupon for an actual kiss. Most of us don’t even have a point of reference for something this sad. This is like something a middle schooler would give to her adult fiancé on a Mormon holiday we haven’t heard of, and he would trade it for a Squirtle.
Godek, always an innovator, added an exclamation point to the kiss coupon when he punched it up three years later.
The anti-valentine book doesn’t have any sex stuff. Across 22 coupons, not one of them says “Good for one standing 69, seven hours long, no boys allowed, please allow 4 days for delivery.” Instead, we get things like this one where it’s a coupon for a free singing of “Love Stinks” by the J. Geils Band. That’s a fucking incredible value.
“What about the laziest idea for an evening?” thought romance guru, Gregory Godek. “Thank God I’m here to help everyone fall in love,” he mused as his vulva-stabbing fingers typed “RENT WHEN HARRY MET SALLY” on a love coupon. “It’s almost my turn to pick the toppings,” his horrible wife thought, pizzaly.
This completely different idea is from the book protesting romance, but can you even tell at this point?
This is from Godek’s Love Coupons, the first one. It’s a coupon for a free wish. “I’m going to have trouble explaining this to you,” Godek told his wife. “But here goes: it’s like picking out flowers all by yourself, minus the flowers.” She accepted the coupon with a quiet fart. “It’s choice, untethered by pizza!” he shouted uselessly at her vacant pizza face.
Three years later he modified the wish coupon to include two extra wishes and a legal disclaimer. I don’t know what Godek’s wife wished for in 2006, but it was not enough yet also criminal and impossible.
Here is a similar coupon from i (don’t) heart valentine’s day! coupons. It’s a voucher for a free candy bar, which is probably worse than “anything you want.” So Godek finally won a round against the anonymous author of this anti-romance coupon book even though the coupon holder gets to pick any candy bar they wan–
Wait. Did the anonymous author of this anti-romance coupon book just go out of their way to tell us we get to pick the candy bar? That’s… no. No, this can’t be… No. I need to check something.
Okay, both of Godek’s books were published by Sourcebooks Casablanca. Let’s check the back of i (don’t) heart valentine’s day! coupons . . .
Oh my god. The author of this third coupon book was fucking Godek all along.
After twenty years of smashing his head against the same concept with less and less success, he thought, “I hate this, I’m going to do the complete opposite,” and still managed to make the exact same goddamn thing. I’m not doing a bit. This is real. I went into this article not knowing this.
I am legitimately embarrassed that I wrote 1200 mean-spirited words about this loser and his penis-stabbed wife before I recognized his childlike patterns and thought to check the publishers. And now that we know, what do we do? Keep going? Fine.
This is absolutely Godek wordplay. It’s obvious. “Let’s have a poker night, fellow gals! After all . . . love is a gamble!” This is a meaningless wad of letters cosplaying as clever. These are the last words of an unremarkable mind dying six minutes into a three hour fuck coupon.
For a 2010 book written by a veteran love expert, this is a very 1985 battery suspect’s idea of female interests. Is it even a coupon? This is a suggestion that would get Frasier caught if he was undercover in a woman’s book club. Look at you, you stupid fuck, Godek.
“Mmm… let’s try not on the pizza tonight, lover,” Godek’s wife says with a coupon.
“I did not expect her to redeem this coupon for her choice of sex,” Godek thinks, checking the fine print for loopholes.
People who have given up on love still swim, right? Hold on, I have a more important question. Is it still wordplay when you’re “drowning your sorrows” in the ocean? Isn’t that just “regular drowning?” I’m 85% certain this is less cute than simply telling the coupon holder to kill themsel– holy shit, I am really pissed off about all this. Let’s pull a sincere one and see if I can get this rage under control.
No, to Hell with this, I’m only angrier. But at least this one did not appear again in Godek’s other coupon books because it probably hurt his feelings when his wife redeemed this Shut The Fuck Up For a Day coupon and no others.
There are always several points in a Godek book where he gives up and tells you to figure it out for yourself, which is a bold choice for someone writing “give her balloons” over and over for 20 years. “Here’s an idea, assoles! Blank! Blank!” – Fucking Godek
This is a coupon for teaming up to pork strangers written by a romantic man pretending to be a woman who hates romance. This is stupid from, like, the wrong century. It’s something a young Patrick Dempsey would find in your purse and say, “Was I just a coupon!? Was everything we had just a coupon!?“
“Hi, it’s me. A woman as imagined by Gregory Godek in 2010. I’m calling to let you know I’m cashing in my coupon to get drunk and mail angry letters to our ex husbands. Please get back to me when you also exist, thanks.”
Godek is able to write as a woman because he can put himself into the mind of a woman. A violent, vengeful, murderous woman giggling as she executes photos of her former lover with a handgun. “I pray for celebrity couples to fail, watch me eat this whole box of chocolate,” he shrieks with his penis tucked. His wife watches from her chocolate-eating chair, completely owned.
“Twenty one coupons down. Come on, one to go,” thought Godek. He looks around his office at the chocolate boxes left behind by his wife’s rampaging lunch. “Think, Godek, think. What do sad women do?” he asks himself. “I’ve got it! Non-rose flowers!!!”
This article was brought to you by our fine sponsor and Hot Dog Supreme: Daniel Kennedy, who wins a coupon good for one nude argument with his choice of location (Space Camp or Waffle House only, must be redeemed within three hours).