Not feeling on top of my game—ears, sinuses, general post-flu/pneumonia vaccine malaise, I decide that performing a good deed might brighten the day, so I pull into a fast food drive-in line in Anchorage and order a $2.40 cent item.
When I reach the pay window, I tell the young man I’d like to pay for the next two cars also.
“Yes. Mine and the next two.” I hand him a twenty dollar bill. “And tell them to pay it forward and don’t litter.”
Blank look. Absolutely flummoxed.
“That won’t cover it,” he says, referring to the $20.
I hand him another twenty. A long period of time ensues, during which he put money into the register, stared, took money out of the register, stared, put more money in the register, told two vehicles he’d be with them in a minute, stared, took money out again, and stared. Your change is “11.85,” he says, giving me coins and bills with one hand and more coins with the other, for a total of $12.10.
I remind him, “Tell them to pay it forward and please don’t litter.”
Blank look. “You mean pay me?”
“No, do a good deed for another. And, please don’t litter. Pay it forward and please don’t litter.”
Blank look. “It means don’t throw garbage out your car window.”
Total bill: $32.90; total tendered: $40.00; total change given: $12.10; total shortage to them: $5.00.
Note to self: You are enabling obesity and interacting with the leaders of tomorrow. Next time? One at a time.
NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED
(PS) I called the fast food place and told them I might have received too much change. The lady assured me the young man’s cash register had balanced.