Sunday, January 13, 2008

One Pricey Lunch

I got a bill from my wife today.

I was working away in my home office when Michelle walked in and presented me with a delicious lunch.

Then she slipped a note on the desk. It read:

Pork sandwich w/pickle, toasted bun: $4.95
Side of chips: $1.25
Half apple: $1.50
Tax: $0.54
200% gratuity: $15.40
TOTAL: 1 back rub

I should have immediately protested, but the sandwich, chips and apple looked too good, and I was too hungry. So, I ate.

I tried to forget about the bill.

Maybe Michelle would forget about it, too, I thought.

Maybe it was a joke, I hoped.

I should know by now that she would forget about it, nor would she have done it as a joke. Michelle loves her back rubs.

Over the course of the day, she asked me when she would receive her "payment."

She was being playful about it, and, really, it's not like she's going to hang it over my head. But I knew she would not forget. Why would she? She had provided a service, and I had gratefully accepted. As it is, Michelle does most of the cooking, and her dishes span a range of cuisines. I love to eat, so I am very thankful. I owe her hundreds of back rubs for the wonderful meals she has made.

But me being me, I conveniently forgot about all that. So, I played a little hardball: I challenged her on her pricing.

"You know," I said, "that was an expensive meal – especially the gratuity."
"It's a transaction," she said, grinning. "You ate it, so you've got to pay up.

Well, that sure worked.

I was fast running out of options. "Well, you should quit nagging me about it then."
"I wouldn't nag you if you'd just honor the transaction," she said, perhaps annoyed that I was getting all accusatory on her.

She added: "If you don't want to give the back rub, I'll accept cash instead."

I'll give the back rub tonight.

But I'll make it a short one.

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