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.)
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.
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.