Change for a Penny, Please

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Prices: just some Friday thoughts…

by Neil Kuvin

$4.00/gallon. Saw it change at the Thornton’s in Middletown last nite. And what’s with the 3.999 anyway. Who gets the extra .001? Is that a coin? If I give the clerk $4.00 what do I get back? I’m going to start asking for change. Why not? The oil companies think we’re all dumb, inactive, pliable sheep, don’t they? I figure on every 10 gallons they owe me a penny. During a year of transactions, I figure with their “rounding up,” I’m owed several bucks.

Back in the early 1900’s there was an actual coin representing this transaction amount. If the gas station had those coins today they likely would be worth thousands of dollars each! And for advertising, marketing purposes, they casually “round down” with us going along. Do you say, “three ninety nine? Or do you say “Three ninety nine, ninety nine?” Do you ever day, “Four bucks.” We’re all so easily trained. Welcome to the “Lemming” universe.

The major point I want to make here is what are we going to do about it? Lemmings are braver than we are and a lot tougher. Lemmings may follow their front row of brothers and sisters right off a cliff, but when challenged they are aggressive, dangerous little beasts. Are we?

Howard Beal (“Network”) said it best: “I’m as mad as Hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

I didn’t think I’d reach this level of anger & frustration. But I have. I’m strapped to this gas pump and I’m watching it get fatter almost every day, while my wallet is losing weight at the same rate.

This is not a political call to rally. Just to have you pay the clerk and casually ask for your change. Just look at the amount and figure is out. For every ten of their ” round up” dollars they owe you a penny. You’ll blow him away.


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