I stopped on my way home from taking mom for a trip through the MRI machine to pick up a cold beverage for later. I decided to go fancy and chose Dogfish Head Palo Alto Marron, which, in addition to being fancy is also rather pricey.
It's good for all of us that it comes in 4-packs, since it's a hefty 12% ABV, which is also the reason it's pricey. One gets what one pays for. In this case, it's $13.49.
When the young lady scanned the bar code at the bottom of the box, the not-so-pricey price of $3.37 came up on the register. Without hesitation, the young lady asked for my "three thirty-seven." I started to hand her the twenty that I had prepared, but my conscience got the better of me.
"Oh ... that can't be right," I said. She had a puzzled look that said that the electronics couldn't possibly be right and that I should just wait for my $16.63 change and go on about my business. We called the manager over to resolve this indiscretion.
While I waited for a resolution, the dude behind me in line exclaimed, "We throw the dogfish overboard when we're fishing." Clearly, he has no idea that good beer belongs on board. Philistine.
A less scrupulous individual would not only accept the change but would go back the next day for another 4-pack, figuring that he could get another deal. I did some quick "Rain Man" math in my head and reasoned that the bar code was only scanning for one bottle rather than four. It took a little time, but the manager figured out the same thing and was able to charge me the correct amount.
I'm not particularly given to superstition or how ones actions lead to another action, but I wonder if some Karmic influence is at work here, otherwise I should have just taken my 3-for-1 discount and gone about my business. Would the big store notice the ten dollar difference? Probably not, but I'd have left the store feeling like a shoplifter. It's probably the same reasoning that allows politicians to keep things that they don't think that anyone will notice ... until someone notices. Then, they feel remorseful.
My satisfaction comes in knowing that I don't have to wonder if the cashier would ever figure out that I worked her out of ten bucks and that the next time I go in the store I don't have to avoid her. I figure that is worth at least ten dollars in today's money. It's a shame that modern politics and big business doesn't grasp the same concept as it applies to the overall scheme - which is the only scheme that matters.
So, the Palo Santo Marron takes its rightful place between the Action Wheels bike bottle and the Almond milk in my refrigerator. Everything in its place.
And, I don't really care if I get anything in return. Screw you, Karma.