I’ve invented a new sport, I just don’t have a name for it yet; but here are the rules:
- Pick a shop of some kind. Petrol station shops seem to work best. Night shifts are even better (but personally I think that’s cheating since everyone’s too tired).
- Buy something or somethings, doesn’t matter what so long as you make sure the total comes to more than a single note. (You know, it’s got to be five pound something or ten pound something … etc)
- Pay for the something (or somethings) with a single, higher denomination note. (Ten pound note for five pound something, twenty pound note for ten pound something … etc)
- After the person behind the till has rung in the amount and opened the cash drawer, offer them the exact change.
- Ask politely if that helps.
- Watch their head explode as they try to do simple arithmetic on the fly.
And that’s pretty much it. You score:
- One point for every second it takes them to work it out.
- Two points if they tell you the exact change doesn’t help or “it’s too late, I’ve rung it in now”.
- Five points if they have to consult a co-worker or a calculator.
- Ten points if they have to consult a manager.
Plus, you get a bonus five points for every pound you receive which is over the correct amount of change.
I walked away with an extra twenty pounds once.
Mind you, I invented the sport and am verging on going pro.
My triumph to date (and actually an unintentional match) was at the O2 whilst watching Bon ‘Jazz Hands’ Jovi. After laughing myself sick for the best part of half an hour* I decided it would be a good idea to get Mandy some booze before she killed me. She had that look, you know, that one which tells me laughing at the musicians instead of dancing wasn’t a good plan. So I scurried out and bought an apology beer.
A lot, I thought, but okay. Here’s ten pounds.
She rings it in … but has no change.
No problem, says I. Fumbling about in my pocket and discovering I did actually have the correct money.
So now she has a ten pound note in one hand and four pounds fifty in the other. The total is four pounds fifty … and she had to call a manager over to explain how much she needed to give back.
And then argued because the till said five pounds fifty.
For the best part of five minutes.
I got the impression I would still be there now if the manager hadn’t sworn, snatched the tenner out of her hand and given me it back.
284 points in one go!
Finally, a sport I can actually play.
*Seriously, they’re hilarious … for a while. It’s a bit like watching Ben Stiller’s version of Spinal Tap. Hysterical but with no subtlety or depth so it quickly wears thin. I swear to any God people care to invent, Jon Bon Jovi, the tiny, perfectly coiffured, hairless and magnificently toothy rocker, dances like Carlton and performs ‘Jazz Hands’ for the audience. It’s like watching Don ‘No Soul’ Simmons writ large.