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  Humor stories > Funny stories : Junior economics

Junior economics

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One hot summer afternoon in August, a convenience store clerk leaned against the counter waiting for a customer to come along. Pretty soon a young boy entered the store, who looked to be around eight years old. This was the first time the clerk could recall having seen the boy come into the store. Getting inside turned out to be quite a chore for the child as he struggled to get the big door open without dropping an arm load of soda pop bottles he was carrying.

As the boy brought his prize to the counter, the clerk counted out nine empty bottles, and paid the deposit money due the young man.

“You had quite a load there,” said the clerk, making conversation.

The young man grinned and wiped the sweat from his forehead, obviously pleased with his return on the haul, “Yeah, and I’ll be back with some more too.” With these words, the boy bounded outside with the exuberance that many kids exhibit when they discover the joy of earning their first paycheck.

About ten minutes later, the boy returned with another arm load of soda bottles, this time the clerk counted ten.

“Is that it?” asked the clerk.

“Nope! I have more!” said the boy as he dashed out with a triumphant wave of his arm.

Again, the boy returned with more bottles, his face red from being out in the heat. This time he had a larger size bottle mixed with the regular ones. As the clerk counted out the change, the boy looked at the money in his hand, and asked the man if the big ones were worth more than the other kind of bottles. The clerk told the boy that the big bottles were worth five times the return on the smaller ones, and asked if he knew where to get more of the larger ones. The boy’s eyes lit up as he told the clerk that he knew where he could find a lot more of the big ones.

This activity continued unabated for several more trips, and it was obvious that the child was wearing himself out making these trips. On his next round, the boy decided to wait by the counter for a few minutes to cool down before he took off again. The clerk asked him what he intended to do with all the money he was earning.

“I don’t know what I’m going to spend my money on,” replied the boy, “I’m thinking I might just buy a little of that candy you have around here, and spend the rest of it at the movies. They do sometimes have some shows that kids can watch there. Do you think I have enough to pay for a ticket?”

The clerk did a mental calculation and told the boy that if he could bring in another load of the big soda bottles, he would have just about enough to get what he wanted. In fact, the boy made two more trips out and back before he headed for the candy display. The store clerk watched this young man peruse the candy selection with all the pomp and care an adult might use in making a major purchase. While the boy was making up his mind, the clerk took the last of the bottles to the back room, then returned to the counter. As the boy presented his selections to the clerk, he noted that he had balanced his decision on a combination of what kind of candy he liked, but also took into consideration the price he would have to pay.

“You’re going to make a good business man some day,” said the clerk with some praise for the boy as he bagged up the candy.

“I’ll be back again when I need some more money,” replied the boy as he took the bag and headed toward the door.
As an after thought, the clerk called after the kid, “By the way, where did you find so many bottles?”

Pleased to reveal his secret, the boy answered, “Oh, that was easy. There’s a whole bunch of them out behind the building!”

So ended that “job.”

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