Wendy Stories
January 1997

What kind of fools are our schools turning loose?

I bought a socket wrench set at Orchard Supply Hardware.

On the way to the cash register I grabbed a 50% off after-Christmas-sale candy. But the 79 candy rang up for full price! I pointed out the mistake. The cashier agreed to give me the candy for 50% off, but he couldn't seem to figure out what amount that should be.

I helpfully said, "Forty cents is about right."
Still he hesitated.

I elaborated, "Half of 79 is 39.5 so you can charge me either 39 or 40." He was reluctant to accept my calculations. After several slow moments, the gears in his brain ground to a halt. He rang the candy up at 37. "How about that?" It was hard not to roll my eyes.

I really got a bargain.

My aunt was visiting Greece and bought a delicate glass lamp. The shopkeeper, a small careful woman, wrapped the glass bulb with many layers of tissue and tape. And every time she put the tape down, every single time, she let the sticky end go.

And every single time she needed another piece of tape, she scraped and searched for the end. Never once did it occur to her to leave a long end, or fold it over to top the tape from sticking back to the roll.

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