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William Goes Shopping: William Goes Shopping - the story of how William stressed out the poor cashier at the convenience store.
Posted by Douglas, Sep 30, 2007. 2836 views. ID = 70

William Goes Shopping

Posted by Douglas, Sep 30, 2007. 2836 views. ID = 70
This post was written in 12 minutes.
This post has been awarded 32 stars by 8 readers.

William walked slowly, nervously, into the convenience store. He'd never done anything like this before, and his better judgment was warning him to leave now before he got into trouble.

His better judgment seemed to be fighting a losing battle.

In his wallet, aside from a driver's license, two credit cards, a picture of his girlfriend and a blood donor card, he also carried one hundred fifty dollars in ones, fives, tens and twenties.

He walked from aisle to aisle, picking up various items he needed for his party. Potato chips, Pepsi (none of this diet, caffeine free, sugar free colored water for him!), salsa, cheese, crackers, and chocolate candies.

He waited until the line of customers waiting to be checked out was gone, and he approached the cashier. He dumped his armload of items on the counter. The cashier grunted out a very non-commital, uninterested "How's it going?"

William just shrugged. Then, before the cashier could start scanning his purchase, William said, "I'd like to make a deal with you."


"I could just pay the amount on the bill, or we could do this: Every item whose purchase price is an odd number of cents, I'll pay fifty cents under the purchase price. But if the price is an even number that is one less than a prime number, I'll pay five dollars over. And if the price is a triangular number or a Fibonacci number, you pay me fifty cents, unless, upon drawing a marble out of this jar here, we find that it is either red or blue, and then I'll owe you one penny for every diagonal in a convex polygon with as many sides as I have items to purchase."

The cashier looked at him like he was nuts. He said: "Are you nuts?"

"No," William said, "I'm just a character in a math problem."

Copyright 2007 Douglas. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 32 stars by 8 readers.


Josiah T.
Sep 30, 2007
Yuh, I think somebody has a math problem....
   ~Posted by Josiah T., Sep 30, 2007

Sep 30, 2007
   ~Posted by Douglas, Sep 30, 2007

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