I've been working for the past seven days, & I'm enjoying a bit of a Friday night this afternoon (after being called into work accidentally at 7am instead of 8am, to a venue an hour away.) Getting off the BART at the Ashby Station, there's a well-dressed beggar man asking for eighty-five cents--; he is very often there, & he always asks for exactly "85¢ to get on the BART". I came up with two theories, & then several more, why he asks for this precise sum:
1) He's been standing there ever since the minimum BART ride cost 85¢, & no one has clued him in that his scheme needs to be updated with the rising cost of the public transportation infrastructure & inflation. (I'll get my interns to get you the year when the BART last cost 85¢)
2) After years of experimenting with asking for different amounts, he's honed in on the most successful number.
3) His favorite cheap beer (or preferred homeless non-alcoholic beverage) costs 79¢-plus-tax, & by the time he's finished his drink, he's managed to sucker another 85¢ from another sucker.
4) In a world of imprecision, he asks for a precise amount of change.
Any other ideas?
I've been recording two new shaped-note Christmas tunes, so check back later at this website for your holiday cheer. (Above photo (of me) by Nina Menconi.)