Once upon a time, in a little town on the prairies, there lived a woman who worked at the local gas station and convenience store. She’d been there for years, serving the customers who traveled along the nearby highway. It’s a pretty good job, she thought, but kind of boring sometimes. So she started thinking of ways to pass the time.
An idea came to her. She would play a joke on the people who came in to purchase snack foods to munch on during their journey. When she rang up the total cost of their goods, she would tell them they owed $20.00, even if it was only $16.42 or $11.37 or even less. She soon discovered that there were a lot of people who paid no attention to the prices of the things they were buying, and they never batted an eye at her when she said, “that’ll be twenty dollars”. Sometimes a customer would comment on how interesting it was that the total would be an even dollar amount like that, but they didn’t question it as they pulled out their wallets.
People are so strange, she thought.
But the woman couldn’t bear to be dishonest, and she would always tell the customers about her joke before it was too late. Most of the time. Some would lay down a twenty-dollar bill and be gone before she could say anything.
My Mom and I met this woman on our recent road trip. She tried to get $20.00 out of me for a bag of cheezies and a diet Coke, but being the attentive person that I am (okay, you can stop laughing now), I didn’t fall for the joke. She told us the whole story instead. She kept talking even as we were walking out the door and we concluded that she must be lonely. Or a bit crazy. Or something.
So if you ever meet the woman at the gas station in the little town on the prairie and she tells you that your cheezies cost $20.00, say hi to her for me.
And tell her that she’s famous on my blog.