Decimals Make all the Difference

For several months now, I’ve noticed these candy jars at the checkout of a Mexican restaurant near my office.

Not that I’m in the market for cheap candy from a filthy plastic tub, but if I were, I think I’d enjoy the debate that would ensue when I tried to get eight pieces for a penny.

This is a pretty common typo, I know, and one that is so prevalent that most either don’t realize it’s an error, or don’t care to argue the point (unless you’re the Verizon Math guy), but I still enjoy thinking about it.

It’s fun to imagine a scenario where I take the whole jug and drop a quarter on the counter, get chased out to my car by the cashier-ita shouting, “El ladrón! El ladrón!”  And then, flash forward in my extreme scenario to where we’re standing there outside the restaurant with a sheriff’s deputy, and I’m explaining why .25¢ is not the same as 25¢, and how my quarter was enough to pay for 200 pieces of candy at a rate of .25¢, and then I’m vindicated by math and released by the authorities, candy tub under my arm and a smugly nerdy look on my mug.

I hope it never happens, but wouldn’t it be cool?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *