Saturday, January 17, 2009


I was getting groceries and picked up some cute little bangle bracelets for the girls.
Normally $5...but 75% off, I LOVE 75% off!

In fact, I'm a sucker for 75% off. I have bought WAY too much junk over the years, just for the thrill of doing that math in my head and coming up with the final sum.

It's close to the heady rush I get from Free Food, but not quite.
And that's another post.

So at the register, imagine my dismay when the price came up as $2.50.
Ummm.....according to my lightning-quick math skills, that would be 50% off,
and not acceptable, oh no.

So I politely alerted the cashier.

She looked like someone who had, seconds earlier,
been pulling the pin-curls out of her hair in her own home,
when suddenly and without warning, her body had materialized
at this very register, and now a woman was moving her mouth in front of her,
but only making unintelligible sounds.

I wanted to wave my hand in front of her face to make her blink.

Instead, I repeated myself patiently,

"This is supposed to be 75% off, but it's ringing up at $2.50."

Again, the look of total incomprehension.

I tried a new tact,

"Well, 75% off of $5 would make it $1.25."

Ah, this time she responded, pecking numbers into the machine.

I watched the screen carefully,



Now another person could let that go.

I opened my mouth though,

"ummmm, actually, it should be a dollar twenty-five."

She looked at me doubtfully and now I was alarmed.
Did she think I was putting one over on her?
I grabbed my cool spiral notebook and flipped the page over.

"See," I say, scrawling numbers down,
"75% of five dollars is $3.75",
(blank look)
"and see," I say, angling the paper toward her,
"you subtract that from five dollars, and you're left with a dollar twenty-five."

She looked up from my calculations and shrugged,

"Whatever you say."

I think my mouth was hanging open at that point.
I really wanted to go over this with her again, but the line behind me was lengthening.

I wanted to teach her.
I wanted her to understand.

I went home and did math facts with twin girl instead.



mrc-w said...

Hahahaha, love that story! And I also LOVE 75% off! And 90% off is even harder to resist. I have bought some seriously junky stuff because it was 90% off!

Lisa Y. said...

Fabulous post!! I just love it when you tell a story. You make us feel like we were right beside you!!! Math is good. I'm not so good at it in my head, but for the right item at the right discount I'll dig out my calculator to check!

Heidi Lee said...

Agreeing with Lisa...I felt like I was right there, right down to the woman pulling out her hair curlers...hilarious...written very well, as always.

Kulio said...

I love comments. :-)

Diane said...

That drives me crazy when they can't figure out the sale prices. I just can't let that go...