• SumoMe

I had a very interesting conversation with a friend of mine the other day. I say interesting but it was really more sad than anything else and as such, I will change the names to protect the innocent.

I was at the gym and an old friend, or I guess really more an acquaintance came over to say hi. After catching up for a brief minute Joe, with great excitement, just had to tell me about how he had found a gas station that was selling gas for $.05 less that any other station in town. He said, “Brian, I have great news and I’ve got to tell you about it. I mean this is really exciting.” You would have thought he had won the lottery with the animation that he exhibited.

He went on to tell me about this gas station that was at least five miles out of town (probably a good ten to fifteen minute drive to get to) and that really wasn’t ever on his path to or from anywhere. But Joe, boy was he excited. “Five cents a gallon better, can you believe it? I am going to get all my gas from this station. Screw those other stations!”

After watching Joe go on-and-on about this Badge of Honor that he was wearing because he has found the lowest priced gas around, I just had to laugh. And I did, I actually snickered right there. You know what, I wasn’t even all that concerned if I had hurt Joe’s feelings and I followed it up with this question:

“Joe, I have to ask you: There’s a park on the other side of town (probably three miles away) and in that park I know that there is a bench and lying right under that bench is a $1 bill. You know this park, would you like me to tell you which bench the $1 is under so you can go get it?”

He looked at me in utter disbelief and said, “You’re crazy! Why in the world would I drive all the way over there for a measly dollar?”

Of course he didn’t seem to realize where I was going with this so I had to follow this up with the obvious…

I said, “Joe, you think it would be crazy to drive three miles to get $1, right?”

(Joe) “Yes, absolutely crazy!”

(Me) “Yet you’ll drive five miles, out of your way, to save $.05 per gallon on gas?”

(Joe) “You bet, I love buying cheap gas.”

(Me) “Joe, you realize that if your car was on empty and you had to totally fill it you would only be saving $.75 (~15 gallon tank).”

(Joe) “Uh, yeah, I guess. I never really thought about it that way.”

I just left it there and let Joe think about the conversation. Funny enough, it got me thinking about how many times I have heard people talking about this same exact thing and sharing the same beliefs as Joe. I wonder how many of them would drive across town to pick up the dollar? Would you?