Cash or Check

Last weekend I was north of Boston in one of those sleepy, costal towns that really comes alive in the summer.  My friend and I stopped at a Clam Shack for dinner.  I can’t resist good, fried whole bellied clams in the summer time.  I could eat them all night, every night all summer long.  This place is the real deal with fresh Ipswich clams piled high with onion rings, fries and coleslaw.  Of course you pay a hefty fee and wait in a line twenty deep, but for those few nights that I indulge, it’s worth it.

After I ordered our clam plates and iced tea, the man taking our order at the screened in window said “Just so you know we only take cash or personal check.”  I understand a cash only policy, but was surprised that they took a personal check and responded with “Personal check?”  Apparently my questioning tone did not come across and he mistook it for a statement saying that I would pay with a personal check.  I’m an online banking kind of girl and only have one book of checks that has lasted me more than a year and I certainly don’ t carry checks around with me.   So thinking that I was paying by check, he says “Since you are gonna pay by check we’ll make it easy.  It’s an even $30.”   I said that I was not going to pay by check but rather was just surprised that you took personal checks.  I didn’t even mention that, although I appreciate his making the check writing “easy” for me, I am well versed in all the numbers so he could feel free to change me the actual price.  He did however find a little offense in my surprise, and said “Well where are you from?”  I said, “I guess the future where we have invented credit cards and leave the check writing to old ladies in front of me in line at the grocery store.”   I couldn’t help myself.  He said “Well then that will be $36.”  I said “I thought you said it was $30?”  He said, “Well time traveler, I thought you’d know about inflation.”   After I paid the $36 in cash, I feel confident headed back to the kitchen to spit in my food.

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