Clearance Room Adventures: Belly Of The Beast Edition



I’m not a superstitious man, but every once in a while I will find myself assigning significance to little everyday things. Maybe I’m bored and I just want to make sense of the randomness of our world, I don’t know. I’m not talking about your standard “Step on a crack, break your mama’s back” curse-type of bad luck (I’m more familiar with the “Get tattooed, don’t got to college, stop going to church – break your mama’s heart” school of superstition), but something more akin to numerology.

This morning, I had one of those “What does it mean?” moments while shopping at my neighborhood Ralph’s grocery store. A seemingly random grouping of items totaled $6.66, down to the penny. Some of the items were on my “list”, but there were a few impulse items thrown in there, too. Also, there were also a couple of items on my list that I decided against purchasing for no good reason at all. Was a higher power influencing me in some way? Was this a sign? Am I easily influenced by the supernatural? (This definitely beats the time I stopped at a gas station in Weed, California and purchased a chocolate muffin and horrible coffee. The total? That’s right: $4.20, bro.)

My Booty

My Booty

Perhaps my fate was determined from the moment I walked into the store, as I navigated around all of the construction going on. Many aisles have been rearranged lately, making for a disorienting shopping trip. First, I headed to the soup aisle. My wife loves ramen, so I picked up a pack (no big deal, it’s only like 25 cents – but I am a very thoughtful husband) and moved on to the clearance bread section. This is where you can find bread on its last legs, before it goes to “heaven”. There were a couple of nice artisanal loaves for only $2.00. I needed the bread. Yet… I didn’t buy a loaf. Whoa!

Next up, yogurt. I’m down for the Fage. It is THE best, and it’s on sale! I grabbed three, in my favorite flavors (and the strawberry goji was the last one in the cooler). I was feeling pretty good at this point, getting some deals. You know what, the Propel water is on sale, too, at 50% off. But I didn’t bite. And I was thirsty. Weird.

On to the pet section. I need puppy pads for my poodle-miniature pinscher mix “Reggie”. The only pads they have are $11.99 for 14 pads. Forget that, I may as well buy him a solid gold diaper. Ooh, Tiger’s Milk is on sale! Two for $1.00? I’ll grab four (two crunchy and two PB & honey). On to the produce…

I only need an orange, so that I can work my thumb muscles as I peel it. In a strange twist, I second-guessed my orange choice and grabbed a different one. This was the last thing I needed, so I moved on to the checkstand. You know what? I want to try the Mentos “red fruit & lime” gum, and it’s on sale for $1.00, so I’m fixin’ to grab that, too! The lady in front of me is taking a long-ass time, so I browse the reading material and I notice something that I find so funny that I think about purchasing it: A book called “Dump Cakes”. Suddenly, the line moves forward and I opt to snap a quick pic instead.

Have you ever heard anybody say that they are  in the mood for dump cakes?

Have you ever heard anybody say that they are in the mood for dump cakes?

I’m ringing up, and the lady is very nice to me. So nice, in fact, that it comes as a surprise when she presents me with the number of the beast. “I’m cursed!” I begin to panic, but then I turn the receipt over and see a coupon for $2.00 off at Supercuts, “No, I’m blessed!”

My 39th birthday is this year. 666 is divisible by both 3 and 9. And 13 goes into 39 three times: the number of the beast first appears in the book of Revelation in the 13th chapter, and Paul Simon sings that “3 Is The Magic Number”; Paul Simon had that “You Can Call Me Al” video with Chevy Chase in it when I was a kid. Chevy Chase? One of The Three Amigos? Eerie.

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