The Devil’s in the Details . . . and in the Grocery Store.

I’m a Christian. Yep, I admit it. But that’s not what this post is about. It’s about Ms. Gwyn and her beliefs. Ms. Gwyn works at the local Bi-Lo. This story is also about my Facebook fans. At this exact moment, I have 664 Facebook fans. I’m only 2 fans away from the devil’s number: 666. [Cue creepy music.] Since I’m on the cusp of invoking the devil’s number via Facebook fans, I thought it’s a perfect time to share my story about Ms. Gwyn.

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I love coffee, especially at work. My routine is to fix a cuppa joe first thing. Everyday. I sometimes make ice coffee, sometimes piping hot coffee. Sometimes super dark roast. Sometimes medium roast. Regardless of the roast, every cup has a healthy portion of flavored creamer. That’s my vice. I gave up soda, so let me have my flavored creamer. Oh, just get off my back!

I ran out of creamer the other day and abso-flippin-lutely had to stop at the store on my way into work last week. Since I had to stop for creamer, might as well kill two birds with one stone and buy some lunch items and extra ice cube trays to make coffee ice cubes for my ice coffee. But, I had a dilemma. The boss told me the day before that he wanted me to make sure I was at the office by a certain time. He’s a great boss, so I wanted to accommodate. On this day, however, stopping at the store could potentially make me late for work.

On my commute, I prioritized my shopping list to match the store’s layout to minimize any delay in getting to work on time. I stopped at produce first and grabbed the salad fixin’s planned for the day’s lunch. Then I hustled to the household goods aisle because that’s where the ice cube trays would be. Well, one would think. Wait. What? They’re not here. Okay, maybe they’re on the next aisle with the baking trays. No? Okay, maybe with the paper towels? NO?!?! I think to myself, “Self, just go get the creamer and keep your eyes open. Maybe there will be a store clerk on the way and you can ask him/her.” “Self, that’s a great idea. You’re so smart!” “I know. And you’re cute.” “Awe, stop it! You making me blush.”

I grabbed the creamer, but still no ice cube trays and still no store clerk in sight. That meant I had to go to customer service, but there was a long line and the cashier was nowhere to be found. That was when I admitted defeat and accepted that I would be late for work. Finally, the cashier returned. I wish I could’ve seen my facial expression because when she asked who she could help, everyone turned and pointed to me. I was not the first person in line but apparently was the most desperate looking.

The cashier and I walked down the exact same aisles only to find the exact same thing – no ice cube trays. She called the manager who swore that they sold them, but he was wrong. Nope. No ice cube trays. The cashier returned to her register and I got in line behind those already waiting. It’s at this point that another cashier came, Ms. Gwyn.  She called the customer in front of me and me over to her register.

The guy in front of me just got off a night shift at the fire station. It was obvious that he was tired and hungry. He had 2 packages of meat that were BOGO. Ms. Gwyn wouldn’t give him the BOGO. Despite the facts that both meat packages were BOGO, both weighed the same, both were even the same type of meat, sadly, they were different cuts of meat. BOGO only applied to the EXACT. SAME. ITEM. Ms. Gwyn wanted to help him, but she had to follow store policy. Poor guy. I really wanted him to have his meat (so that he could have his pudding) but he put one pack back.

Now it was my turn to meet Ms. Gwyn. She wished me “Gud mornin” in her thick, Gullah accent. “Good mornin,” I replied. She smiled so big that I couldn’t help but smile either. You could tell that her joy runs deep. She completed scanning my order and I barely heard her say, “Oooooh, 666. Dat’s da numba o’ da devil.” She said it so faintly that it did not even register what she said until I saw the total of my groceries on the screen = $6.66.

“Did you just say, ‘666. That’s the number of the devil?'” Ms. Gwyn said, “Uh-huh. Dat’s da beast’s numba.” Her eyes were so big and I could tell she was looking at me as if I were the devil right in front of her. Part of me wanted to tell her that if the stupid grocery store had stupid ice cube trays, my order would not be $6.66, but I didn’t. That wasn’t going to help her. I could tell that she took it as some sort of sign that my order was $6.66. So I did the only thing I could do.

“Ms. Gwyn, would it make you feel better if I rebuke the devil right now?”

“Oh, YES. Please.”


Ms. Gwyn was so glad. Her grin returned and she accosted me with blessings as I left the store.

Yes, I was late for work but it was okay because I was doing the LORD’s work . . at register 3 . . . in the local Bi-Lo.