The most closely guarded secret among retail establishments in this area is the fact that the state of South Carolina has graciously allowed seniors over the age of 85 a discount on the sales tax paid on most items, reducing it from 6 percent to 5 percent.
Over the past five years, whenever I have asked retailers for this bounty, I have been greeted with stares of ignorance. If I insist, the manager is usually called over and pacifies me with compliance, explaining that the computer register is not set up for this function.
Recently, I purchased a kitchen sink from a local establishment. Same blank stare. After a considerable delay, I was allowed the discount, which amounted to the tidy sum of well in excess of $5. It seemed to me, by the amount of time that was consumed, that the establishment's computer system had to be rebooted to comply with what should have been routine.
One might wonder why I bother to continue this embarrassment. Well, I don't do it often. I think that over the past five years, I have foregone discounts that must surely have totaled 15 whole dollars. But, you know, I can handle that.