Boulder City Magazine is a monthly publication full of information about Boulder City and Southern Nevada. Boulder City Magazine features the Boulder City Home Guide, a real estate guide to Boulder City and Southern Nevada.

Travel Now
by Ihla Crowley
Drifter Sister

If Airlines Sold Paint
Anyone who has purchased an airline ticket should get a chuckle from this. If you were to buy paint from your local hardware store, this might be the conversation: [Customer’s words in italics, Clerk’s words in plain type]:

“Hi, how much is your paint?” “We have regular quality for $12 a gallon and premium for $18. How many gallons?”

“Five gallons of regular quality, please.” “Great! That will be $60 plus tax.”

Here’s how it would go if airlines sold paint:

“Hi. How much is your paint?” “Well, that depends.”

“How about an average price?” “Well, the lowest price is $9 a gallon, on up to $200 a gallon.”

“What’s the difference?” “Oh, no difference, it’s all the same.”

“Well, then, I’ll take the $9 paint.” “First I must ask a few questions. When do you intend to use it?”

“Tomorrow, on my day off.” “The paint for tomorrow is $200.”

“What? When would I have to paint in order to get $9 paint?” “That would be in three weeks, but you’ll have to agree to start painting before Friday of that week and continue painting until at least Sunday.”

“You’ve got to be kidding!” “Sir, we don’t kid around here. And I’ll have to check to see if we have any of that paint available before I can sell it to you.”

“What do you mean? You have shelves full of that stuff; I can see it right there.” “Just because you can see it doesn’t mean that we have it. We sell only a certain number of gallons on any given weekend. Oh, and by the way the price just went up to $12.”

“The price went up while we were talking?” “Yes sir. We change prices and rules thousands of times a day. You haven’t actually walked out of the store with your paint yet, so we just decided to change. Let’s get on with your purchase. How many gallons do you want?”

“I don’t know exactly. Maybe five gallons. Maybe six just to make sure I have enough.” “Oh, no sir, you can’t do that. If you buy the paint and don’t use it, you will be liable for penalties and possible confiscation of the paint you already have.”

“What?” “That’s right. If you stop painting before finishing your project, you will be violating our tariffs.”

“But what does it matter to you whether I use all of the paint if I’ve already paid for it!” “Sir, there’s no point in getting upset; that’s just the way it is. We make plans based on you using all the paint, and when you don’t, it just causes us all sorts of problems.”

“This is crazy! I suppose something terrible will happen if I don’t keep painting until Sunday night?” “Yes sir, it will.”

“Well, that does it! I’m going somewhere else to buy paint!” “That won’t do you any good, sir. We all have the same rules. You might as well just buy it here, while the price is now $13.50.”

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