Carlos and I have a new Saturday tradition. For the past three weeks we’ve headed off to Port of Call, a great hamburger joint right outside the Quarter. (That’s what us native New Orleaneans call the French Quarter.)
Carlos always orders a cheeseburger - medium, a baked potato with chives and bacon bits, and a large draft beer. I always order a mushroom cheeseburger – medium well, a baked potato with “everything” (chives, bacon bits, sour cream, mushrooms), and a large draft beer. Always.
Neither of us likes change.
Part of our new tradition is that we walk off our meal afterwards. This past Saturday, Vincent rode his bike down to the Quarter to meet us, and the three of us walked over to a local used bookstore.
Carlos bought $10.00 worth of books. I ended up picking up a $6.00 book. This is where my moral dilemma comes in:
Carlos: I’d like to buy these $10.00 worth of books please.
Bookstore Owner (after he figures the sales tax on his adding machine): That’ll be $10.90 please.
Carlos gives him $11.00 and gets $.10 change
Me (after 5 minutes and another customer have gone after Carlos): I’d like to buy this $6.00 book please.
B.O. (not using his calculator to figure the tax): That’ll be $6.00 please.
Me: Here’s $10.00.
B.O.: Do you have a $1.00 and I’ll give you a $5.00 back?
Bookstore Owner pulls out a $10.00 bill.
B.O.: Here’s your change. Oh, that must have been in the $5.00 slot. Hang on. I think I have a $5.00 bill in my wallet…Here’s your change.
Me (walking away): Thanks.
B.O. (handing me the $10.00 bill lying on the counter): Don’t forget this.
Me (on the inside): Dumb ass is giving me his $10.00.
Me (on the outside): Thanks.
Then I casually walked over to Carlos and Vincent, waiting until they were ready to leave.
Once outside I told them what had happened. Carlos was outraged - not because I took the money, but because Bookstore Owner charged him tax and not me. Now he refuses to go back to that store.
Another time: The $5,000 bank error in my favor and what I did about it.