7.05.2005

beating the system

Whatever and ever about necessity. The true mother of invention is a combination of poverty and boredom, with maybe a dash of pretentious disdain for others’ well-being. I might as well admit it - I get a real thrill from using the rules and standards that are laid out for a given endeavor, and operating within them to shift things to my advantage. It's the law of loopholes - every loophole will eventually be exploited; every exploited loophole will eventually be closed. Half of the fun is finding new ones once the old ones are closed, and exploiting once again. The other half of the fun is bragging about having found the loopholes in the first place. The way I see it, I'm just sharing the wealth.

Today's exercise in loophole manipulation is a small one, but it's a classic. At the pseudo-French cafe chain Au Bon Pain, there is on the menu a Pesto, Tomato, and Mozzarella sandwich that sells for some ridiculous price like $5.99. Not on the displayed menu, but built into the cashiers' registers, is a Lettuce and Tomato sandwich, which is $2.69. This is what they charge you for pretty much any sandwich that doesn't have meat or cheese on it. But you can add cheese to any sandwich for $0.79. So this is painfully obvious: get a Lettuce & Tomato sandwich, hold the lettuce, add the pesto. And add on some mozzarella cheese for seventy-nine cents, and there you have, for $3.48, an identical sandwich to the one listed on the menu for more than two dollars more. God bless America.

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