For all the shopping prowess of my wife and daughter, each of whom can spend seven dollars in seven hours at the mall and come home with a trunk full of clearance loot, I one-upped them last Tuesday.

They were bound for Lafayette to shop for running shoes for Ann.  I needed a new pair of slippers badly, and not knowing what else I could do on a cold Mardi Gras holiday with the outdoors too wet and muddy for any outdoor activity, I declared I’d go with them to find my slippers.  I reasoned this clearance season on winter goods could conjure up a rare bargain–maybe 50% off or something like that, meaning a pair of slippers for $5 or $10.

My slippers were similar to this, but gray with Mike the TIger poised over the LSU logo in purple and gold.

When we left home, I supposed I would find my bargain at one of the mall department stores.  But we started at Academy Sporting Goods, where Ann hoped to find some new running shoes.

To amuse myself while Ann shopped, I visited the casual footwear section and found, to my surprise, slippers!  And not just any slippers: They were LSU Tigers Collegiate Footwear slippers, emblazoned with the Tiger and the LSU logo.

The price tag had been torn so that I couldn’t tell the price, so I debated whether to buy them or not.  Academy gear tends to be pricey already, with team logo merchandise a notch above the regular stuff.  Sarah encouraged me to take them to the register–if the price was excessive, I could simply say, “Er, uh, No thanks.”

So I approached the cashier with my stylin’ LSU slippers and laid them on the counter.  I had extracted my Discover card from my wallet and clutched it, ready for duty,  in my right hand as she swiped the bar code.

A pause, a moment of suspense . . . interrupted as the cashier requested, “One cent.”

I was stunned.  Speechless.  I asked her to repeat.

“Yeah, just one penny.  That’s what it says.”

I gulped really hard.  I didn’t have a penny on me (“Gold and silver have I none, but I have a wallet full of plastic!”), so I turned to Sarah and begged a cent.  Of course, she had petty change in her wallet, so she “bought” me these gorgeous (and comfortable) LSU slippers.

This evening, I looked online to see what kind of bargain I really got.  I never found the exact pair of slippers I bought, but among the dozens of LSU slippers I found at various sites, the going price tended to be $20-$25.

I got a pretty good bargain!