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Friday, April 28, 2006

An Actual Best Buy Experience

Money, it's a gas.
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.
New car, caviar, four star daydream,
Think I'll buy me a football team.

I don’t believe I’ve ever told this story to anyone ever before. It’s not that I meant to keep it secret or that it’s embarrassing in anyway, but it just got lost in the back of my memory for some time.

With that being,
gather ‘round everyone, Boof’s gonna tell you a story…

T’was the summer of ‘04 and I was spending my summer in Rapid City, SD for an internship. I was on my way to Best Buy to purchase the new Cowboy Junkies cd, One Soul Now. The advertisement the previous Sunday included this cd along with an “exclusive Best Buy offer” that included a cd of a couple songs with only 12 available per store. I figured that 12 discs per store should cover every Cowboy Junkies fan and their uncle, so I wasn’t worried at all.

I walked into Best Buy and immediately found the new CD but I couldn’t find the exclusive cd to go along with it. I asked an employee about this cd and showed him the ad so he went “to the back” to check on it. I’m sure guy went back to the break room, played a couple games of Connect 4, and then took a wazzer until he came back to say,
“Nope, we didn’t have anymore of that kind of vacuum cleaner in the back room.”
“I asked about this cd.” I said.
“Oh, nope we didn’t have anymore of those either.”

I figured that the next closest Best Buy would be in…Denver so I quickly forgot all about this special cd.

A couple weeks later I was perusing Best Buy again and I stopped at the Cowboy Junkies area and to my surprise they had a dozen shrink-wrapped cd’s right out in front. Sure enough it was the single I was looking for a couple weeks previously. I was about to complain when I remembered that I threw away the reciept a LONG time ago and I couldn’t remember what the idiot looked like that pretended to help me last time. I did notice on the cd a price tag that read, “$0.01”. They were selling this special cd for a penny.

To be honest the sight of the price tag was enough for me to bitch at someone, but I had to tell myself,
“hey, it’s just a damn penny.” which tells me that Best Buy didn’t want to give away the cd (probably because they didn’t think they could) but they wanted to keep them on the books. That or some dumbass tried to look it up in the cost book and it read “$0.01” so they priced it accordingly. I mean Best Buy has so many cameras in the place that I wouldn’t be able to steal the cd if I wanted to. Plus, how pathetic would it be if I was caught stealing a cd worth one cent?

I grabbed one of the cd’s and returned to perusing Best Buy. Fifteen minutes went by and I was done. My “shopping cart” consisted of this one cd and I figured it was going to receive a bit of a reaction from the cashier.

First of all think of being a Best Buy cashier, nearly every customer’s bill ends up being something over $15 if they just buy any old cd. They’ve probably routinely seen totals over $100 and even the $1000 category. And as I’ve always said, you could walk into Best Buy, take a deep breath, and still lose $5 somehow.

So approach the counter with a dorky grin. The casher did her standard,
“hello sir, how are you?” and swiped the cd and glanced at the total which read “TOTAL…$0.01“.

“Total is….uh…hold on” and she looked back at the ‘history’ of the machine and then the cd,
“Ah..that will be a penny I guess. What is this?” she asked.
“It’s actually a single type thing” as I grabbed a fistful of change from my pocket.

After a few seconds of looking at my hand full of change, I looked in amazement at all the silver coins I had in my pocket. Not one brownish copper one in the bunch.

Now I’ve had a penny on me about 99% of my life. When my car got broken into the thieves took about $4 in silver change but left about $6 in pennies in my armrest thing. When I went trick or treating there was always the super old guy that would give you five pennies wrapped in a small square of Saran Wrap. And I’m pretty sure that when I was born there was a penny tucked underneath my umbilical cord somehow.

But at this moment, I did not have a penny.

So with my grin turning into a look of amazement, I grabbed a nickel and carefully placed it in the cashier’s hand.
“You’ve GOT to be kidding me!” she said with a laugh.
“haha Nope, I don’t have a penny on me.” I said.

At this point I was watching the cashier like I would watch David Ortiz in the bottom of the ninth with two out and a tie game because it had been years since I paid cash for anything at Best Buy. I was really curious!

Do they even have change in those registers?

So the cashier types in “0.05” and the machine then rings up,
“CHANGE $0.04” as the cashier drags 4 pennies out of the drawer and says,
“Four cents is your change. Would you like a bag?” And that was that.

It was definately a moment in time for both of us. I actually don't think I've listened to that cd since then either.

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