Arithmetic

coinsWhat does this have to do with wind? Quite a lot actually. Well not so much with wind as without it. I went into the butchers yesterday and the bill came to £7 and 13p. I gave the young lady, a charming cheerful young lassie if I may say so, a ten pound note and the thirteen pence. The young lady looked totally blank, worry lines creasing her forehead as she considered what change I was owed. It was as though I had asked her to explain Einstien’s Theory of Relativity. A brief flash of inspiration and she keyed the £10 and 13p into the till and the display flashed up ‘change of £3’. She proudly told me that she was a third year university student working the summer holiday. Good luck to her and I admire her grit. However when I was a wee boy, I worked in a shop too. I would happily serve a customer five or eight items in pounds, shillings and pence. I would add them up in my head. No calculators in those days unless you had an abacus. I would them simply calculate their change without recourse to an electronic till and it was all done in the flick of a lambs tail. In fact far quicker than it takes to key in or even swipe the products. Was I a child prodigy? Was I hell. Everyone could do it because we started learning arithmetic, not maths. To this day I can still tell you in a blink of an eye how much change a customer would expect if they tendered two crisp one pound notes for a sale of one pound seventeen shillings and six pence(£1 17/6d). How many of you can tell us that? All those of  a mature disposition say ‘Aye’. The point in the tale is that when the lights go out, our reliance on technology for modern commerce will close all the shops and leave the country in meltdown. And where will the young be then?

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About Dougal Quixote

Slightly mad. Always believes a cup is half full so continues to tilt at Wind Turbines and the politicians that seem to believe it is their god given right to ruin Scotland for a pot of fool's gold.
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