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Tehmtnlion avatar 1:17 PM on 02.24.2009  (server time)
Karma and the Grocery Store Video Game Bin

Hey guys, I've had one fuck of a day and it's not even halfway through. I have to tell you about what just happened to me and hopefully it will make your day seem a little less shitty knowing that good things still happen to good people and hopefully, your break is coming along soon. So here it is in the only way I know how to tell it, with some good tunes along the way. Enjoy!

I am a believer in the fact that the Universe will always balance itself out. Karma, if you will, is a standard in my life. I try to fight on the side of justice whenever I can in the hopes that the universe will see fit to grant me some perks in case I run into a line of shitty luck. For instance, today is a day that I will forever remember and has further cemented my belief in this truth. This morning I decided to get some groceries. I've been putting it off and putting it off, but the matter forced itself upon this AM when I had Mr. Noodles and sesame sticks for breakfast.

Breakfast is my favourite fucking meal. When you have Breakfast, it should be a glorious fucking occasion. We're talking eggs, toast, bacon, home fries, fruit, coffee, orange juice capped with an ever delicious cigarette after. No foolin'. This is an atrocity I thought to myself. Time to rectify the situation.

So, finishing my pitiful breakfast, I went to get my coat and boots and found out that I broke the zipper on my jacket. Disgruntled, I put on another sweater to make up for the setback. Eventually, I had fully assembled myself to venture out into the cold and was ready to rock. I grabbed my messenger bag, slung it over my shoulder and grabbed my Ipod out of it and started out.

As James Brown sang his way into my soul through my headphones, I checked the mailbox to see an ominous red sheet of paper glaring up at me. It was a notice from the local watch in my community that a pedophile was moving into the neighborhood. Not that this affected me directly, but no one would be happy to read a note like that. Swearing under my breath, I turned to walk down my steps and found out that there was some freezing rain last night in the worse way possible. Barely keeping upright, I stumbled down the step and fell face first into a snowbank.

At this point I was swearing with reckless abandon. Wrenching myself free from the icy prison, I wiped the snow from my face and looked out across the street to see my neighbors laughing at my folly, their cackling shooting past my ears, echoing in the snowy silence. With as much rage as I could muster, I fired back with two point-blank shots of my middle fingers and angrily walked in the direction of the grocery store.

(the bastard won't let me embed it, but you should listen to it anyway :P )

The midmorning air was chilly, the temperature was around -9 C, and the skies were overcast. My Ipod switched to Fat Boy Slim's Weapon of Choice, my pace matching the beat. The grocery store was only 3 blocks away, so I didn't expect anymore shenanigans on my route.

I should have remembered that Shenanigans love an ambush.

The first intersection I came to disaster struck. While the last notes of Weapon of Choice played through, some asshole in an SUV came hurtling through the lights and flicked his cigarette butt out his window. In a one in a million shot, the butt arced through the air and the ember pegged me in the forehead. As the pain hit, my hand flew up to the source of the impact and smashed into my nose, missing its intended target. I started to drop F-bombs as I held my nose. Adding insult to injury, an old woman who was standing beside me told me I was an unmannered brat. Images of inflicting blunt force trauma on this aged woman crossed my mind, but I opted to cross the street instead.

Walking along the next block, I was starting to wonder if I should venture the next two blocks, but my rumbling stomach egged me on. Buffalo Springfield concurred by treating me to the song For What It's Worth, and I picked up my pace. The second block held yet another rude surprise for me. As I was walking under the branches of a tall maple tree, the wind picked up and a blanket of snow dropped on me, finding a path to my skin through the channels of my clothing. Stopping only to stand in disbelief of this event, I carried on to the next intersection and on to the final block to the store.

Steering clear of any thing that could further ruin my day, I carefully walked to the entrance of the store. Unzipping my sweater, I grabbed a basket and turned to walk through the second set of doors and into the store proper.

It was then when Shenanigans struck again.

My head was turned to look at the deals along the tops of displays, a large muscle-bound man was hell bent on getting to a display of vegetables before I was. In an instant, the fact that steel grocery carts > my testicles was traumatically reinforced in my mind. The cart smashed into my cojones and I hit the ground, reeling as I went. When I regained my focus, I was greeted by the sight of this large asshole pointing down at me and expressing his displeasure that the resistance of my rocks had made him drop a carton of eggs.

Itís amazing how vulnerable someones arteries look when you're mad.

Collecting myself from the ground, I went about the store and got my grocery list. The deals were really good and the store was fairly empty so I got my list quickly. As I emerged from the dairy aisle and turn toward the cashiers, I realized why the store was so empty. Everyone in the history of creation was currently in the check out lines. As I calculated the prison term for multiple homicides verging on mass genocide, I spotted something that calmed me.

The big bin of discounted video games.

I love these things. Although there's never anything epic to be found in them, such as new releases, you sometimes find good deals. In times past, I've managed to pick up, two Civ games, the Half-Life 1 Anthology, a couple Silent Hills and a few fps'. Not wanting to wait in line, I started to pour over the container.

It was endless crap after endless crap. However, with the lines showing no signs of movement, I continued to reach down into the bin, trying to unearth some form of modern-day buried treasure. Bobby Womack started to tell me about crossing 110th Street.

The first layer had mostly Wii, PS3 and 360 knock offs. Poker, racing, bugged fps', the usual. Under this, there was a layer of PC and PS2 games. I chuckled to myself as I considered modding a hunting game to have shoppers instead of deer. Still, I kept digging. It was then when I started to get excited.

With walls of perused video games building around me, I came across an interesting find. I had unearthed PS1 games! Grinning, I started to file through them. Crash Bandicoot, Tekken, Grand Turismo and various other games smiled back at me. I started to remember what it was like to be excited for these games and the joy they brought me when I was younger. I moved a copy of Ace Combat 2 and my heart skipped a beat. My eyes widened and my pupils dilated. Clutching the case in front of me, I raised it shakily to my face.

I had found a pre-greatest hits copy of Final Fantasy VII in mint condition.

Fittingly, BTO's Taking Care Of Business came on my Ipod.

Final Fantasy VII is the REASON why I am a Gamer and not some other demographic. Memories of the game play flooded back with the force of a river breaking free from a dam. The storyline of Cloud and his battle to save the planet. His journey through the world, gaining friends and foes as he went. I remembered how I sat with amazement at the graphics when I first rented it the first time. How I stayed home from school to grind my characterís levels. How I didn't play the game for a week because I was so livid that Aeris had died (one for the reason that I was emotionally attached to the character and two she was my strongest one as well). Clutching it to my chest with paranoia, I looked around me for some imaginary thief that would take my treasure from me. Seeing that there was none, I grabbed my basket and rushed into line to pay, with Metallica's Master of Puppets accentuating the intensity of my situation.

After the entire song waiting in line, I reached the till. The game had been in that bin for so long, the barcode wouldn't scan. For a brief moment, I started to panic with the thought that they wouldn't let me buy it, due to some douchebag policy. The cashier called for the floor manager and rang through the rest of my groceries.

A man came out from the office to the left of the tills. Looking only to be about 25-26, He hurried over and asked what the problem was. The oblivious cashier pointed to the copy of FFVII, not realizing how important this find was to me. The man did a double take and gleefully picked up the case.

"Oh man!" he exclaimed, "Where did you find this?"

Fearing that he would take it for himself, I sullenly pointed over to the bin, the towers of video games that I had built teetering dangerously along the edges.

"I found it at the bottom of that bin." I admitted.

He looked me in the eyes and smiled.

"I guess it's your lucky day."

He slapped a "Reduced For Sale" sticker on it and scribbled a price on it. He handed it to me. I looked down at it.

99 cents is what it said.

Cue Queen's We Are The Champions.

Karma's a sassy bitch, isn't it?

Have a great day guys.

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