This week, a major chain bookstore opened in the city where I live, for which I am very grateful. I'm especially grateful because on the store's opening night, I won the $50 gift certificate door prize.
And I knew exactly what I was going to get with it:
I figured the giant hardcover Planet Hulk collection was a good purchase because it's something I've wanted, though I've been reluctant to drop the $40 to actually get it. Plus, I have a discount card for this particular chain, which offers 20% off of hardcovers. Or so I thought.
When I was ready to check out, I set the book down on the counter along with my gift certificate and my discount card. I then asked the male clerk, "Will I be getting 20% off with this?"
The clerk proceeded to flip the book around in his hand for a bit, and then said, "No. The 20% off only works on ADULT hardcovers. This will get the 10% discount."
Before I could reply, a female clerk came by, looked at the book, and said to me, "Are you buying this for yourself?"
"Yes," I responded.
"Really?" she returned, disbelieving.
"Yes, really." At this point, I wished that Ph.D.s were issued some kind of badge or ID card that I could flip out at moments like this so that I could dramatically add, "And I'm also a doctor!" But, unfortunately, I don't have any such visual aid, and I desperately wanted something to show that this is a perfectly viable purchase, even for a person with a high level of education.
So, I thought, here we are.
Meanwhile, the other clerk completed ringing up the purchase and announced, "Your total comes to $34.55."
Though I'm not very proficient in math, I quickly realized that the difference between the actual cost of the book and this number was more than 10%.
"It looks like I did get the 20% off after all," I said, trying not to gloat, but wanting to leap in the air, landing in a wide stance with my finger pointing and shouting, "Ha Ha! Charade, you are!"
The clerk squinted at the screen and then pulled back in disbelief, saying, "I guess so. Huh. I wouldn't've thought this would be considered 'Adult.'"
Not feeling the least bit vindicated, I took my purchase and left the store, longing for the dark, uninviting, porn-shop-like atmosphere of my local comic store, where the clerks may be judgmental, but at least they don't judge the maturity level of my purchases.