By Mariana Schuetze
21-year-old business management student Brian James cried tears of pure happiness after getting a 40 per cent off coupon from Uber Eats on Thursday.
James said the coupon could not have come at a better time.
“I was having an awful week—month, actually. My salamander died a week ago, I failed two of my midterms because I was too sad to study and my mom was calling me every day asking for my thoughts on the Harry and Meghan interview two weeks after it aired,” he said.
James said he was so overwhelmed with work and school that he hadn’t been eating very well. “I was craving a fresh meal, so when that code showed up in my inbox, I literally cried,” he said.
Marina Lang, James’ roommate, said his reaction was actually more dramatic than what he described.
“I was chilling in my room, working on a couple of assignments, when I heard Brian screaming and jumping on the couch,” she said. “He’s usually so quiet that at first, I thought he was finally watching the Game of Thrones finale.”
“He kept screaming ‘I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING! OH MY GOD! YAY!’” continued Lang. “He sounded like he’d won the lottery. I still have nightmares of his piercing screech.”
James’ parents were alerted of the situation by Lang, who called them after walking in on James french-kissing his cell-phone in the living room. His mom, Carol Boomer, was working a nursing shift at the hospital when she got the call.
“It wasn’t just in my head, I felt happiness all over my body”
“I almost dropped everything to go check in on my baby,” Boomer said. “Marina sounded really scared on the phone.”
Boomer said James’ behaviour was highly unusual, describing him as “very put together and shy.”
“I had never seen him react to anything like that,” she said. “Not even when we took him to Disneyland when he was 12 and he got a picture with Snow White. He loved her so much. Wait, hold on a sec, I have the picture on my phone, lemme show you.”
James, however, insists he’s okay. “This was just a normal reaction from an overworked student getting a freaking fantastic 40 per cent coupon off of food,” he said.
Dr. Monica Fink, a specialist in young adult’s psychiatry, said James’ reaction was abnormal. “No matter how tired a student may be or how hungry they are, they shouldn’t react this way to getting an Uber Eats coupon,” she said.
“A coupon code is not food, it simply suggests the idea of having food,” Fink said. “A normal reaction for someone of Brian’s age would be becoming very excited, of course, and wanting to share the news with everyone they know, possibly on all their social media accounts, including LinkedIn.”
“However, Brian acted too obsessively,” she continued. “A person of his age should not have reacted like this.”
Fink said James’s overly excited response to getting the coupon was probably due to lack of sleep and what she described as constant “sad brain hours.”
“Lack of sleep may even cause hallucinations, which is probably what happened to Brian,” Fink added. “His mind was likely playing tricks on him and this made getting the coupon code to seem better than it actually was.”
James said he still doesn’t understand why everyone was so bewildered by the way he reacted. “It wasn’t just in my head, I felt happiness all over my body,” he said.
In the end, James used his coupon to buy a burrito bowl from Chipotle. “I was even able to splurge on the extra guac! It was amazing,” he said wistfully. “I’m gonna be thinking about that day for the rest of my life.”