A funny thing happened on the way home last night. I stopped by Kentucky Fried Chicken to pick up some dinner. After perusing the drive-thru menu, I decided to order the Grilled Chicken combo with mashed potatoes. Everything was going smoothly until the voice from the speaker box said, “And to drink?”
Me: “Do you have any lemonade?”
Voice from the box: “We have Sierra Mist and Mountain Dew.”
Me: “Do you have anything that isn’t carbonated?”
Voice from the box: “No.”
Me: “OK. Then I’ll skip the drink.”
Voice from the box: “It comes with a drink, Ma’am.”
Me: “That’s OK. I don’t need the drink.”
Voice from the box: “That’ll be $5.71 at the window please.”
Happy that I placed my order, I diligently drove to the drive-thru window. In that short 20 foot drive, I realized…71 cent tax on my $5 meal? That doesn’t sound right. This state doesn’t have 14% tax on food. So I asked the cashier, “Was the meal more expensive than what’s on the combo menu?”
It turns out, that instead of charging me for the combo and not giving me the drink that is included in the combo, the cashier charged me for two pieces of chicken and a side dish only, which comes out MORE than the combo. They would not give me a combo without the drink. It was as if I was asking for birthday cake without frosting. It just did not compute.
After the cashier reminded me, “I told you, it’s more expensive without the drink” (which incidentally, she did NOT tell me) I paused for a moment. Finally, I tentatively suggested, “how about a cup of ice with some tap water in it?” “Yes, we can give you water.” Aha! A solution! The new total? $5.30. And that’s how a cup of water saved me 41 cents – almost enough to buy a First Class stamp.
The above picture is the magical cost-saving cup of H2O.