In college my buddy Craig and I would like to head out west of town to a locals diner called Bigs Hi-Yu-Hee-Hee. Man, it was a dive: indian themed, huge portions, no college kids. Or, I guess, you could say, we were the college kids. Everyone else was, like, a contractor or retired.
One morning close to graduation, Craig, me, and our friend Michelle went out there for a cheap feast. We were tight on cash (which was the default state) and together we could make the bill with a little (but not much left over for a tip).
During breakfast we were talking about music. Craig and I were in a little band that never gigged, and Michelle was a student receptionist in the School of Music. Some old fella across the dining room from us, looked over and interrupted us.
"There's only two kinds of music in this world," he said. Then he went back to his short stack. His wife looked over at us with her eyes but not her whole head. Then she went back to her little bowl of oatmeal or grits or whatever it was she was eating.
We all looked at ourselves like, are we being too loud or something? We didn't think we were, but what group of college kids actually thinks they are being annoying? After about fifteen seconds or so, he said, raising a fork into the air, "Country and Western." Then his shoulders chuckled once, and he went back to his meal.
We went back to ours.
In another five minutes or so, he looked over at us again and said, "Say. I'll bet you kids five bucks you can't guess how old I am." Aside from the shock of being addressed, we didn't know what to do because we didn't have five dollars.
I said, "I think I can take this guy."
Craig and Michelle protested. Michelle said, "We won't be able to pay the bill if you're wrong, Todd."
I said, "He wouldn't bet us if he didn't think he looked younger than he really is."
"Still," said Craig, "How are you going to hit the exact number? That's a low probability operation."
I looked over at the dude and said, "Sixty-seven."
"Todd!" my friends yelled. The guy stopped eating. My friends glowered at me. He looked up at his wife and asked, "Did he just say sixty-SEVEN?"
"Yes he did, dear" the lady said, and then she took another bite. The old guy leaned over, dug out his wallet, took a five dollar bill and set it on the table. I was grinning ear-to-ear, and my friends were shaking their heads.
"Well," the old guy said, "I'm not going to bring it over to you."
In the end, we were able to tip well that morning.