"It's not enough to create magic. You have to create a price for magic, too."
On January 13, 1981, I, Jim Flowers, solemnly vowed that I had taken my final lukewarm shower.
At the time I owned an old house with galvanized iron water pipes. For those of you who have never dealt with old plumbing, iron pipes rust on the inside. Eventually that rust constricts the flow of water, often to a mere trickle. That's truly annoying, especially in the winter, when a hot shower is like a first-class ticket to heaven.
I searched out (pre-internet, mind you) and engaged a free-lance plumber who vowed vast experience with old piping. He looked at the location of my second floor bath, went to the basement, and quietly surveyed the various lines running from the hot water heater. After what seemed like only a few moments, he reached up and tapped on one of the pipes with a wrench, not hard at all, just four or five gentle taps.
"Please go upstairs and try your hot water now," he said quietly.
I returned to report free flow of nice, hot water. "OK," he chuckled. "That will be $75."
In 1981 $75 was serious money, especially for 5 minutes of work. Charging $75 for 5 minutes work took a lot of Moxie. As I did an obvious double-take, he added, with a broad grin, "That's $5 for my time, and $70 for knowing where to tap. Enjoy your shower tomorrow morning."
I nodded and cheerfully wrote out the check. To tell the truth, I'd have been happy to pay much, much more.
Oh, and by the way... The shower was fantastic!!