Today, walking down the hall, minding my own business, I glimpsed a flier on the wall advertising “$25!" in big, bold letters. I, naturally, gravitated towards this flier to inspect the possible reasons why it may have felt the need to shout such a thing.
Upon closer examination, I discovered that the flier was intended for people in intimate relationships of greater than or equal to three months, of the heterosexual variety, who where interested in participating in a psychological study of some sort. Of course, I don’t remember the nature of the study, because I stopped reading after I realized I could not obtain the flaunted twenty-five dollars, however I did notice that the study was supposed to take about an hour.
You see, the injustice of this is great, and multi-dimensional. The $25 would be given not to each individual but to each couple that participated. This is not okay for two reasons. Firstly, because I have attended a great (GREAT) number of studies in my day (I’m poor), I know that the standard, rarely-deviated-from, cash compensation for each 15 minutes of data-gathering is $5. Thus, this study is fucking with the natural balance of the world of experimental psychology.
For a study of this nature, compensation of $20 each is highly suggested, adding up to a $40 prize for each couple you will be submitting to your hour-long mind-numbing questioning.
Not only that, but due to the fact that 25 is an odd number, divvying up the allotted amount of pity-cash would be troublesome. Assuming that you, the researcher, gave each couple a twenty-dollar bill and a five-dollar bill, you may not be pondering how the couple will claim their well-earned half of the profits.
Naturally, you wouldn’t. Perhaps you would expect that the couple - as a unit, two halves of a whole, the intertwining of beings - would simply share the $25 in whatever way they see fit. But as we all know, that is simply not how the world works.
Assume, even, that you have given each couple two ten-dollar bills and one five-dollar bill! Still, how will they split that five-dollar bill? Tragically, they cannot. Even if you were to award each pair with twenty-five ones, there would still be one lone dollar bill that must be split.
Thus, the only natural and logical way to do this, as each individual must have their $12.50, is to award each couple with two ten-dollar bills, four one-dollar bills and four quarters. This is entirely acceptable to me, seeing as each unit of currency is given out in an even number to each couple, but is also distressing due to the fact that, once split up, the bills that each would have would be of an odd number. This is almost made up for by the even number of quarters and dollar bills each would have in his or her possession, however, it still gnaws on my conscience.
But the sheer fact that they have chosen to compensate a couple with an ODD number of dollars continues to distress me - a fact that is only made up for by the fact that, when counted in pennies rather than dollars, the units of currency total an even 2,500.
But why even go through all of this? If you, researcher, were to simply give each couple $30, not only would this eliminate the need for such confusing decimals, but also solve the problem of an odd number of dollars! The currency, when observed both in dollars and in pennies would total an even number! Not only that, but once you have subjected the lovers to your silly rituals of the field of psychology you could reward them with two tens and two fives!
An even number of each currency unit! All would be well besides the fact that each individual would have then an odd number of each currency unit as well as an odd number of dollars, however, I’m sure that they would be reassured by the fact that they possess an even number of bills as well as hypothetical pennies.
Or you could just give them all $40 like you’re supposed to and we’d all be happy. Except for you, you cheapo.