Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Freakonomics, or "how-to-throw-an-economist's-study"

I, like many Americans who are not knee deep in the latest Harry Potter book, am reading Freakonomics (don't worry, Marelle, your copy will be on its way soon). If you knew my husband, you would understand why this book is mandatory reading in my house. But the disturbing part is the conversation I had with him the other night about how he managed to throw one of the studies in the book.

No, not the Sumo wrestler study.

Here goes...

D: You know the bagel study that the economist did in the book was at .... where I used to work. That's where he first started selling his bagels.
K: Yeah?
D: I used to buy bagels from him.
K: Yeah? So did you cheat him on rainy days and pay for your bagels on sunny days, like his study determined?
D: Not really.
K: (starting to get nervous because I could see that there was SOME sort of cheating that had occurred based on the look on his face) Not really?
D: Well, you see (imagine someone doing that dance he does when he is trying to NOT say what he is about to say), the bagel costs some crazy amount like 85 cents. I mean, who has 85 cents? You either have a dollar or a few quarters. Never 85 cents.
K: I'M SORRY! You have 85 cents if you want a bagel.
D: Well, (hemming and hawing) I just kept track. If I put in a dollar one week, I would make it up the next week and put in less.
K: You were running a bagel tab?
D: I guess.
K: So some Fridays he took home less money because you were evening out your account?
D: It all came out in the wash.
K: The man did a 20 YEAR STUDY and you managed to throw 8 years of it by keeping a running tab only known to you?
D: I guess. I was just the noise* in the study.
K: So how many other people were noise in the study as well? Do you think you were the only person doing that?

Good gracious. Where the hell did I find this man? My apologies to Paul Feldman.

*Random market fluctuations that make it difficult to forecast the market's direction.


blue2go said...

I just saw that book in a bookstore yesterday and wanted to read it!

amy said...

I saw the two authors on the Today Show a few weeks ago and had read a couple of reviews about it before then. I had put it on my list, but now I'm totally going to read it.

God, I love your stories!

Bossy♥'s YOU said...

wow...what a cheating, no good

Sounds like somehting I would do am going to hell for

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...


Marel Lecone said...

If I was short, some days, I would totally do it.

When I was always late to work, this is exactly how I was thinking, since I always stayed late to make up for it. I was always even by payday. Well, almost . . .

And, oh, I will definitely be reading the book. I want to be up on story when the scandal breaks. heehee :) Let D know of that one. :)

Humor Girl said...

lol! That's too funny.... Men are so stange. :)

J.P. said...

I’ve never done something like that before, but being the token male to comment so far, I’m sure that I’ve done other things that are difficult to analyze.

Kristen said...

Blue--buy it!
Amy--glad to make you laugh, yet again.
Christina--somehow I knew you would be a "take a penny, leave a penny" kind of girl
Stacy--succinct and well-said
Marelle--OK, so I was kind of that way about work too :-)
HG--strange is putting it nicely
Ab--no need to stick up for your peeps. We know you are a cut above your brothers