I've heard a few versions of this over the years. The latest incarnation dropped into my inbox today:
Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the Courthouse in Wilkes-Barre ; one from Luzerne County , one from Columbia County, one from Lehigh County .
They all go with a courthouse official to examine the fence.The Columbia County contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. 'Well', he says, 'I figure the job will run about $900: $400 for materials, $400 for my crew and $100profit for me. 'The Lehigh County contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, 'I can do this job for $700: $300 for materials,$300 for my crew and $100 profit for me. '
The Luzerne County contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the courthouse official and whispers, '$2,700.'The official, incredulous, whispers back, 'You didn't even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure? The Luzerne county contractor whispers back, '$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we hire that guy from Lehigh County to fix the fence.''Done!' replies the government official.
29 minutes ago