Is algebra really that necessary?

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By John Pawlak

When on the East coast visiting family, my brother and I were driving along Route 1 and we saw a hardware store with a huge “Going out of business — 50 percent off everything” sign. As any man will attest to, one can never own enough hammers or screwdrivers!
The store was full of men filling baskets with useless articles that would no doubt prompt an argument when they got home.
“Yes, I know we live in a one room apartment, sweetheart. But you never know when you might need an arc welder!”
My brother’s cart was nearly full of equally redundant articles, and then he saw the golden goose. Off in the corner, some expensive items had a tag saying, “Take an additional 50 percent off.”
Seriously, how can one survive without a 12-inch dual-bevel slide miter saw? It was a gorgeous Bosch model originally selling for $480.
At the counter, the young teen struggled with the complicated task of deducting 50% off each item. When he got to the chop-saw, he said, “Uh, let’s see. That’s 50% off, and another 50% off. Uh, well then, that means it’s free, right?”
For a brief moment, my brother and I rather relished the idea of being criminals. But we just couldn’t rob the store owner like that, so we corrected the math for the struggling soul.

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