Sweet

The best investment of my life was the $0.83 that I spent on two cups of coffee at Stanford University’s Tressider Memorial Union in October 1975. I had met a beautiful graduate student a few minutes earlier in the campus bookstore, and I didn’t want to end our conversation. We have been conversing ever since, especially after we both said “Yes” in church five years later. This investment has subsequently required substantial cash infusions, but it continues to provide robust return on capital.

9 thoughts on “Sweet”

  1. How can 2 cups of coffee cost 83 cents? Remember, this is pre-crappucino days and I’m imagining the union mess served Nescaf instant with or without vodka.

  2. @BiG: sales tax. Every week my wife and I go for pizza, and the total for 2 identical pizzas and soft drinks is $21.05. The tax is calculated from the sub-total.

  3. So Much for Subtlety

    Bloke in California – “sales tax. Every week my wife and I go for pizza, and the total for 2 identical pizzas and soft drinks is $21.05. The tax is calculated from the sub-total.”

    But what was the sales tax in 1975? 83 cents? That could be two cups at 40 cents plus 3 cents tax. Which seems the most likely. But how about 35 cents per cup and 13 cents in tax? That is a pretty steep State sales tax.

    This investment has subsequently required substantial cash infusions, but it continues to provide robust return on capital.

    I don’t know why he is claiming a return on capital. I would bet significant amounts of money that his cup of coffee was the cheapest investment he made in this girl and that the cash infusions are substantial indeed. More so given that his pension and house is essentially for her.

    It is cute but it is not likely to be accurate. But then we need illusions to get through a large part of life. Far be it for me to undermine anyone else’s.

  4. @Bloke in Germany
    Apparently there was a frost in Brazil in 1975 that killed off most of the supply of coffee beans that year.

  5. Bloke in California

    @SMFS: I don’t even know what the tax rate here and now might be, let alone what it was in Palo Alto nearly 40 years ago. All I know is my first few months here of trying to work out the total and having about the right amount to hand at the checkout were continually stymied by having some random figure added on at the end.

    Ok, after digging out a receipt and a calculator, I pay 9% in my home city. Google informs me that California has a 7.5% rate, so there’s a local 1.5% on top.

    And more googling brings up this which says that the local tax rate in 1975 was 6%, giving a price for a cup of coffee of 39 cents plus tax. Or maybe Palo Alto and/or Stanford U had their own rates on top.

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