Friday, November 19, 2004

Nine tenths?

Gasoline is the only thing you can purchase these days (and, perhaps, the only thing in the history of time) for which you can be charged in tenths of a penny (that’s what that 9/10 after the price-per-gallon numbers means - nine-tenths of a penny).

I know why products often are $19.95 or some such price – because it sounds cheaper than twenty bucks, and only costs the seller five cents to have a low-sounding price. But how does “$2.47 and nine-tenths” really benefit anyone? You’re not expected to pay in fractions of a penny; the price is rounded up to the next even cent. So why bother? Is it just to annoy us? I think so. And it’s working.

But rather than just rant here, I am offering a solution to the problem, and I ask nothing in return – no recompense, no gratitude, no nothing.
Dear Oil Company Executives,

I, a humble supplicant of the petroleum-based faith, implore you to please just charge us a real price per gallon of gas. Round up to the nearest cent, and let us get on with our days.

Thank you, O Mighty Ones.

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