The Economics of Milkshakes

I took Econ 110. Don't believe it? Here's some economics for you:

Phillip and I have an increasing marginal propensity to consume milkshakes. If it is available, it is ours. Yesterday Phillip and I celebrated a "second highest test score in the class" with some well-deserved calorie saturated burgers. A medium Butterfinger milkshake usually accompanies burger and fries; however, yesterday no milkshake was ordered. We ate our burgers without the anticipation of a sweet treat to look forward to.

As we were leaving I looked over to Phillip and said, "Wait, I have to do something." He followed me to the register where we ordered earlier. The same young man who took our original order was waiting there.

"Can we get Jr. shake and can you not make it yet but instead give it to the next family that comes in?"

He looked at me a little confused.

"I just want to give the next family that comes in a jr. shake, is that okay?" I explained again.

"Absolutely," he replied with a smile on his face, "what flavor do you want it to be?"

"Whatever they want."

"We'll if they get Recess or Butterfinger then it costs extra, is why I am asking," he told us.

How could I deprive this family that I will never know or ever meet of the option of getting Butterfinger? I couldn't.

"We'll pay the extra just in case they want Butterfinger," I explained.

"We'll great, that will be $2.84. Do you want me to tell them who it was from?" he said.

"No. No. Just tell them that somebody earlier paid for jr.shake and they can have it. Don't forget okay?"

"Don't worry I won't," he assured me with the same smile on his face,"Thank you."

Then we left.

Here's some more economics: buying a complete stranger a Jr. milkshake is a positive externality. Not only did I feel happy after, but Phillip told me that he felt good even though he wasn't the one who bought the milkshake. I am pretty sure the guy who took the order was happy too. I'll probably never know, but I can bet that the family who was surprised with a prepaid Jr. milkshake was thrilled.

"I am really glad we did that instead of getting a milkshake for ourselves," Phillip shared.

"Me too," I said.

"By the way, that's coming out of your clothes budget," he said.

The End

1 comment:

Stefu said...

Love the surprise ending with the clothes budget!