Thursday, April 22, 2010

There Is Superstition

I never grow tired of this conversation, which just happened to me again at a lunch counter.

Clerk:"You're total is, ahem, . . .uh, [clears throat] $6.66."

Me: "Thanks." [Hands her a ten dollar bill]

Clerk: "If you don't want anything else, I'll take the tax off. It will make it a different total."

Me: "Why?"

Clerk: "You know ... The Number."

Me: "Nah, thanks anyway. I'll pay the full amount."

Clerk: " What if I pay the tax myself?"

Me: "Thanks anyway. I'll pay the total."

Clerk: "Ohhh-kay . . ."

She said it as if she meant: "It's your funeral." I didn't stick around long enough to ask her about what she thought of health care reform.


Chris James said...

Once upon a time I worked at a rural motor lodge and would intentionally try to make people who were superstitious about getting room 113 feel like jackasses.

Stanton said...

I actually had someone back out of a real estate transaction when they found out that the street address of the houses would end in "15." Apparently in China, where they were from, 15 is a big bad deal.

But to the point of your post, TFG, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. The dreaded "six hundred three score and six" has been wildly misinterpreted through the centuries, sometimes intentionally by religious leaders who wished to stoke the fires of fear in their followers. Your clerk is most likely the victim of that kind of abuse - albeit generations old abuse: She probably heard it from her grandmother who heard it from her grandmother who heard it from a crazy preacher.