Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the Statehouse in Trenton.
One contractor is from New Jersey, another is from Tennessee and the third, is from Florida.
They go with a Statehouse official to examine the fence.
The Florida 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 $100 profit for me.”
The Tennessee 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 New Jersey contractor doesn’t measure or figure, but leans over to the Statehouse official and whispers, “$2,700.”
The official, incredulous, says, “You didn’t even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?”
The New Jersey contractor whispers back, “$1,000 for me, $1,000 for you, and we hire the guy from Tennessee to fix the fence.”
“Done!” replies the statehouse official.
And that’s pretty much how things go in Jersey.
This came from Usual Suspect Adie, but I took the liberty of changing it a bit.