Let’s say that you are walking outside a major retail outlet and you spy a $20 bill lying on the sidewalk. Let’s also say that it’s 9:00 at night and no one else is nearby.
a.) pick up the money, pocket it and wonder what good deed you must have done to warrant such good fortune;
b.) pick up the money, briefly consider turning it in at the customer service desk, but pocket it instead after realizing that it is idiotic to forfeit free money that has a 0.0 % chance of being found by whoever lost it in the first place;
c.) pick up the money, turn it in at the customer service desk, and know that you did the right thing;
d.) pick up the money and turn it in at the customer service desk. Spend half an hour shopping in the store, and then return to the service desk. Make up a story about losing twenty dollars outside the store and ask if anyone has turned it in. Enjoy yourself immensely as the employee behind the desk stammers, pantomimes a search for the cash (which has obviously been pocketed) and then claims that no one has turned in any missing money. Walk away from the service desk and laughingly tell your wife that the whole little farce was, ‘totally worth $20 in entertainment value.’
If you chose option a.), you have strong confidence in your good deed output. Congratulations.
If you chose option b.), you are behaving much as I would, if my kids aren’t around.
If you chose option c.), you are behaving as I would have ten years ago, or you are behaving as I would today, if my kids are around.
If you chose option d.), you are a Lupton.**
**If you don’t know what a Lupton is, be thankful you haven’t married in to the family.