Decades ago, when things cost far less than they do today, a 10-year-old boy entered a crowded coffee shop and sat at a vacant table. A waitress brought him a glass of water. “How much is an ice cream sundae?” the boy asked.
“Fifty cents,” the waitress told him. The boy pulled out the coins in his pocket and counted them. “Well, how much is plain ice cream?” he asked. Other people were waiting, and the waitress was impatient. “Thirty-five cents,” she replied brusquely.
“I’ll have a plain ice cream,” the boy told her. The waitress brought the ice cream, plopped the check on the table, and said: “Pay up front, son.” The boy ate the ice cream, paid and left. When the waitress returned to clear the table, tears came to her eyes. Besides the empty ice cream dish were two nickels and five pennies. The boy had enough money for the sundae. But he couldn’t order it, because he had to leave the waitress a tip.