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YUCCA, AZ—Melma Dultrup, a local gas station cashier and purveyor of bored facial expressions, had just finished approving a loan for a family wanting to fill a tank of gas when a man approached and placed a small pack of Juicy Fruit™ gum on the counter.

Dultrup scanned the gum, and the price appeared on the cash register’s new, extra-wide display screen.

The man blinked at the price of gum then pulled out his wallet, and while he counted large bills, a woman who Dultrup assumed to be a rich heiress stood behind the man, holding a bag of Doritos™ and a large Slushee™.

“Is this enough?” asked the man, laying all of his cash on the counter.

“Not quite,” said the cashier, seeing that the line was growing behind the man who had also removed his wedding band and placed it on the pile of bills. 

“Sorry, still short,” said Dultrup. Another customer had just joined the back of the line, naively assuming just one wheelbarrow full of cash was enough to buy a Slim Jim.

“Give me a minute, I need to move some money around,” The man was now swiping through his mobile banking app, beads of sweat forming on his forehead. The line of customers behind him used their time wisely and began calling their financial advisors.

After receiving the deed to the man’s home and keys to a GMC Yukon, Dultrup added up the funds and sighed, shaking his head.

“Wait! I’ll be right back!” The man flew out the door, yelling something positive about a guy named Brandon.

The man returned hours later. Pallid, sick, yet determined as ever, he heaved a small cooler onto the counter. “The human body only requires one kidney to survive.”

Dultrup excitedly rang up the total, confident that the man had finally garnered enough funding to purchase the—

Heartbroken and kinda tired, Dultrup broke the news to the man that the price of gum had doubled in the past seven minutes.


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