Thursday, May 19, 2005

Do they teach simple arithmetic anywhere in this country anymore?

If they teach it, no one seems to be learning it. This evening's rant is brought on by the butchers at the local market. They have a wonderful electric scale that has a digital read-out of the price per pound, the weight of the cut of meat, and the total price. But it reads out the weight as a decimal figure. And if you order two-thirds of a pound of salmon - as I did - you encounter a butcher's helper who has no idea what that might be as a decimal. He plops as much poundage as 1.05 and as little as .52 on the scale and then gives me the cornered-rabbit look waiting for me to tell him if that's correct. Which I do. And if sufficient grace and patience have been allotted to me that day, I will even tell him whether that is too much or too little.

Someday I'll tell you about the day the electric cash register broke down at a local drug store. You know, the ones that tell the cashier how much change to give? . . .it was quite a day.