I'm not sure when I first noticed them. I don't remember them as a child or a teenager. Then, one day, walking out of a CVS, I looked down at my hand and there it was ... a two-foot long receipt decorated with coupons and miscellany like the back of an old magazine. What was this so-called receipt? And why was it so long?!
This creeping sign of postmodern malaise, in which the length of one's receipt bears no relationship to the number of items purchased, has been swirling out of printers and control for too long. We are beyond paper, the anguished people cry. But the pharmacy does not hear us.
As the angry proprietor of the Facebook group, "One Million Strong Against Unnecessarily Long CVS Receipts," put it, "I don't care that they use my CVS card to track me across the planet, I just want a receipt that isn't 1/3rd my height."
Last June, it appeared that the madness might end. The Los Angeles Times reported that CVS was doing away with its often yard-long receipts and moving toward a more useful, digitized rewards program.
But now the company is backing away from that plan. LA Times reporter David Lazarus kept digging (that guy deserves a Pulitzer) and found the company "in fact isn't working on doing away with printing rewards on receipts and the goal isn't to store rewards in people's cards." Instead, the "rewards" CVS gives you -- which are what gets printed on that receipt -- will continue to come in paper form unless you opt into an offers-by-email program.