Goes Into

Early this morning, my wife had to get to the bus station 50 miles away in the big city (pop. 33,000); we left home at 5:30, a time when I’m often headed to bed.

Before returning to the house I stopped by a grocery store (probably the biggest one within 100 miles of home), a few minutes after it opened. The place was largely deserted, except for a few workers, me, and one other guy, in his late 30s or early 40s. After a few movements of that dance where, every time I came down the next aisle, he came up it in the opposite direction, the man finally spoke.

“Can you do math?” He was standing looking at a display of seltzer water bottles, marked ‘6 for $3.’

“I’m not too bad at it,” I decided.

“This stuff is usually 85 cents each,” he said. “I can’t figure out if this is a good deal.”

“It’s a good deal,” I said, dividing 6 into 300 and getting a number less than 85.

“Thanks.” Then, shrugging, he smiled and said, “I suck at math.”

“It never hurts to ask questions,” I told him. “For example, I don’t have a watch, so I might ask you what time it is.”

“I could answer that one,” he said, and we resumed our dance.

About RPS

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