Sunday, April 20, 2008

I Have An Issue With The Salvation Army

While hunting for cheap reading material at the Salvation Army outpost near my apartment yesterday, I stumbled upon two large shelves positively groaning with books all labeled thusly:

My immediate reaction was, "Oh happy day! Oh lucky man! All of these books are 4-for-99-cents! I'm going to be whatever the literature-based version of a millionaire is!!!" So I dug through the shelves, finding quite a few 70s-horror-and-British-comedy diamonds amidst the Dean Koontz and Sue Grafton rough, ending up with a barely manageable pile of sixteen different selections. I practically sashayed to the counter, adrift on the heady, drunk winds of buying a large quantity of things for a small amount of money. Four dollars or so and this wordy bounty would be mine! In your fat fucking face, Barnes & Noble!!! Choke on it, Borders!!! Today, you are collectively my bitches!!!

I dropped my haul on the counter, beaming like a Pixie Stix sun in a cartoon wonderland of songs and dance routines, and the cashier counted my books and said...

"That'll be sixteen dollars."

Confusion, sorrow, a slight quiver in my bowels...

"But... but... I thought they were 4-for-99-cents? Oh happy day? Oh... lucky... man?"

She stared at me with the dead eyes of, well, someone that works at the Salvation Army, and she said, quite coldly...

"No. They're 99 cents each."

"But then why is there a "4" on this label, on all the labels? Please, ma'am, my heart is breaking."

She looked off into the distance, as if contemplating a long-forgotten poem, and then she returned my gaze. She sighed heavily, like a great weight had been lifted, and after an eternity, she spoke...

"I don't know. Do you want these or not?"

Harrumph!!! (shakes fist, gnashes teeth, turns his back on an unfeeling, uncaring God, pouts like he's never pouted before)

So, much like in the immortal Meryl Streep classic, Sophie's Choice, I had to spend the next ten minutes agonizing over which books would survive (i.e. come home with me) and which books would be killed by the Nazis (i.e. left at the store). It was traumatic, to say the least, and I don't know if I'll ever recover.

So my question to you, my handsome readers whom I just bet are all wonderful in bed, is this: Was I totally out of my mind on this? That label clearly means 4-for-99-cents, right? Because if it doesn't, then I don't think I understand the world any longer. Also, I'm considering firebombing the Salvation Army store...

NOTE: I should point out that I showed said label to Girlfriend and she didn't get the whole 4-for-99-cents thing AT ALL, so there's a very good chance that I'm just an idiot.


Blogger Bill From Gainesville said...

Zombie..... Looking at it, you could certainly understand where you thought it was four for 99cents. However It also could mean For 99 cents each, or even 4 dollars and 99 cents. It would have made me ask before just assuming it was four for 99 cents, and then when they came back telling me they were 99 cents Each I would have had joy down to my very bone marrow at that as well, cause other then the 99 cents menu at mcdonalds what the hell else can you really do with 99 cents that takes you to an entire other dimension?

12:53 PM  
Blogger John Barleycorn said...

I love how this is a post about books but instead of saying Sophie's Choice by William Styron, you choose the movie version. Hardy har har. You deserved to pay sixteen dollars!

6:25 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Bill... Thank you for agreeing with me (basically). And I would like to point out that I was happy to have paid the price that I did, considering what the haul would have cost me otherwise. I'm just saying that their tags were misleading.

Barleycorn... Hey, hey, hey... what happened to you telling me I was awesome? Well, regardless, I've never read the book, but I *have* seen the movie, so having said it was like the book would have made me a liar. Because maybe it's not like the book. Maybe, in the book, Sophie's choice is trying to figure out what kind of ice cream she wants at the local Baskin-Robbins. I don't know, I haven't read it.

6:30 PM  
Anonymous David said...

I guess whoever labeled them is a Texter and thought everyone should know it meant, For .99. In this crazy topsy turvey world of ours nowadays you have to understand the texting and IMing typed word. I don't think you are an idiot you just live in a world of lazy illiterate idiots. If you were an idiot you would be buying the VHS tape of the books 4 .99 .

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Eric the BeehiveHairdresser said...

I would have guessed that it was $4.99 - a penny shy of five bucks, but then again I currently have some beer goggles on right now.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

David... I haven't owned a VCR in like seven years or something. Weird.

Eric... Those are some clear, well-focused beer goggles. I looked at that tag after drinking a six-pack and thought it was written in ancient sanskrit.

7:02 AM  
Blogger jason quinones said...

at first glance it read like $4.99 to me!

thas the gubment fo ya! always trying to rip ya off!

9:27 AM  
Blogger Todd said...

Blasted Salvation Army...

1:49 PM  
Blogger Big Daddy said...

I would have thought it was $4.99 as well.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Jason... Lousy governemt.

Todd... I know, right?

Big Daddy... That seems to be the general consensus.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Irish and Jew said...

i think you just wanted it to be 4 for .99 cents sooo badly that that is what you saw.


9:45 AM  

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