I went through the self-checkout lane when there was a problem. They weren't ringing up on Clearance. Screw that! I don't need Cliffjumper THAT bad. (I'm glad I got him, though.) I decided to void those off and just get my stick of deodorant and split. No dice, the register decided that I couldn't just not want the toys anymore, one of Wal-Mart's highly trained professionals was going to have to come punch in a 4-digit code to verify that I, indeed, did not want the figures anymore. The guy came up, balding, mid-40s, "You collect Tranformers?" Ah jeez. The only thing I hate more than kids that ask me that question is grown-ups that ask me that question. Through trial-and-error I have found the response that usually diffuses the situation "Nah, I just buy them for my son." Usually that shuts up any inquisitive post-pubescent.
This guy wasn't having any of it. "Well, I don't think there's anything wrong with it even if you did. I think they're cool." I decided that I needed to look more like a responsible adult and less like a pathetic loser, so I switched to concerned consumer mode. "Well, I came in this weekend and bought one of these for my son (emphatically emphasized). They were ringing up on clearance, but they aren't now." "Really? That's strange. Yeah, because I seen these things on sale. Let me check on them."
Okay, I can play around for a little bit if its going to save me some money. He called an even more professional Floor Manager over and explained what was going on. She seemed unconcerned. "Well, we have price changes ALL THE TIME!" she huffed. Hang on, chick. I'll let it slide that your computer is messed up and isn't ringing up on clearance when it should, but I'll be damned if you're going to tell me that the prices were changed when they were on the CLEARANCE aisle this weekend and they're still on the CLEARANCE aisle today. "Really?" I asked innocently, "because these are over on the CLEARANCE aisle with all the other stuff that's on CLEARANCE. That's where they were this weekend. Seems like stuff in the CLEARANCE aisle would, you know, be on CLEARANCE." I punctuated "CLEARANCE."
"Yeah, well, we have price changes all the time," (Which is bullcrap because Deluxe Tranformers have been the same price since Armada came out), and walked away.
I returned my attention to the cashier guy. "Don't worry," he said, "I'm going to get these things for you on clearance. I'm just going to call the toy manager." "Look, don't worry about it," I said, "I don't have to have them." "Oh, no, I'm going to get these the right price. You seem like a pretty cool guy. I want to help you out."
"I'm just going to call the floor manager, and if she don't want to fix it, I'll just override it and do it anyway." "Hey, I really appreciate it, dude." (We're all just guys here, right?) "I don't mind doing it at all. Like I said, you seem like an okay guy. You just remember that I treated you right."
Are there any witnesses around for when this guy decides to rape me?
So I got my toys on sale, but now I have to face the difficult decision, do I settle for picked-over and scalped stores, or should I try to brave the waters where some mid-40's, toy-obsessed weirdo (hey, wait a second!), tries to hit on me again.