I made a purchase this afternoon at a bodega. Paid with cash. The change due back was forty cents. The guy behind the register gave me four dimes. There was plenty of quarters and nickles in the cash-drawer.
"Just a question," I started "why did you give me four dimes instead of a quarter, a dime and a nickle?"
His face was blank. "'Cause your change is forty cents. That's four dimes."
"Okay. But so is a quarter, a dime and a nickle."
"A quarter, a dime and a nickle-- they add up to forty cents."
"So does four dimes."
"True, but a quarter, a dime and a nickle is fewer pieces of change to carry around."
"If you don't want to carry around change-- use a credit card."
"Why would I use a credit card for a $2.60 purchase?"
"Don't know. Probably because you don't want to carry around change."
"Okay. Makes sense" I was just going to give in and leave. But then I saw the little sign at the register that read: $5.00 MINIMUM ON ALL CREDIT CARD TRANSACTIONS. "But according to this sign, I couldn't have used a credit card here on $2.60."
"You'd have to buy more stuff." At this point he was annoyed. I, however, having had an adult beverage earlier, was now just amused.
"Okay, okay, one last questions, then I promise to leave you alone. So if my change back was seventy-five cents-- what would you have given me back in change?"
"Seven dimes and a nickle."
I started laughing like a crazy man and walked out the door.