Long ago, during the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less than it does today, a 10-year-old boy entered a downtown hotel coffee shop and sat at a table.
The waitress put a glass of water in front of him and waited to take his order.
“How much is an ice cream sundae?”
“Fifty cents,” replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the number of coins in it. By now, there was a line of people waiting for a table. The waitress was a bit impatient, but she tried not to show it.
“How much is a dish of plain ice cream?” he inquired.
“Thirty-five cents,” she said brusquely, but politely.
The little boy again counted the coins. After a while, the little boy said, “I’ll have the plain ice cream.”
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed. When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies – her tip.