As adults, we normally argue about who will pay the bill. However, as kids, our argument would be over why we should not pay.
We are all functioning at a small fraction of our capacity.
I remember being a silent observer while watching five of my schoolmates arguing over an ice cream bill all those years ago.
I saw DJ, Sue, Dominic, Sharal, and Terrance come to our local ice cream shop after school.
DJ ordered a sundae that was priced at $4.99.
Sue ordered two scoops of chocolate ice cream that was priced at $2.
Dominic and Sharal ordered two milkshakes, each priced at $1.50.
Terrance decided not to have anything.
When the cheque arrived, it was rounded to $10 and DJ suggested that since there were five of them, they could divide it by $2.
The others raised their eyebrows. “Dude, I haven’t ordered anything. Why should I pay $2?” said Terrance.
“Sorry, bud,” said DJ. “I honestly forgot. Let’s divide this by $2.50 per person,”
Sharal, Dominic, and Sue began protesting. “Why don’t we pay for what we ordered?” said Dominic. “After all, your sundae is the costliest thing on the menu.”
“Duh, you think I didn’t notice that?” said DJ.
“Are you trying to weasel out of paying extra?” asked Sue, scornfully.
“That’s not fair, Sue,” said DJ. “There are days when others ordered a costlier thing, and we’ve always gone dutch. Why are you suddenly attacking me?”
The four friends had the grace to look guilty. “It’s that you’re always popular and nobody notices us; so we sort of let out our frustrations on you,” said Terrance.
“Aw, guys. I’m sorry about that, but if it’s any consolation, I love hanging out with all of you,” said DJ.
“But why do you make everyone pay an equal amount?” protested Sharal.
“It just makes it easy. We usually spend $10 every time we eat out. Since there are five of us, we usually make it $2 per person. Since Terrance hasn’t ordered anything today, there are just four of us, which still makes it easy to divide it since it becomes $2.5 per person. But if it was just three people, then the challenge of dividing our bill arises.”
“Are you teaching us how to divide fractions, DJ? It’s something you always have done to help us improve our math grades,” said Terrance.
DJ chuckled. “You’ve got me, Terrance. For that, you deserve a sundae. My treat!”
Just then the waiter came up to the table and gave them such a look that suggested they pay the bill or else they will be banned from ever eating again.
As the four friends walked out laughing, another table of four friends just received their bill of $52. Can you help them divide it?