Gerald wasn’t particularly happy with his Uncle Simon’s bequest. A prized wine collection was a nice gesture from his favorite uncle, but Gerald rarely drank wine. He could tell red from white, preferred good wine to bad wine, but he would never think of spending hundreds of dollars on a bottle like his uncle frequently did. “Surely, my uncle knew this,” he thought. “Dammit, Simon! What should I do with those boxes in the basement that meant so much to you?” And so Gerald thought about it.
The next week, Gerald came home to find the table set for a several places. “Who’s coming over for dinner?” he asked his wife.
“Junior is in town from college with some of his fraternity brothers to see a concert. I told him I’d feed them all dinner before they went to the show. I don’t want anyone to be driving, so I told them they could hang out here have a few drinks and I would buy them a cab.”
Gerald smiled and said, “That’s a good idea. I’ll be right back.”
“Where are you going?”
“To get some wine for the boys.”
“Why not give just give ‘em some of Uncle Simon’s collection? You’re not going to drink it.”
“No, I’m not. And neither are a bunch college students who can’t tell Boone’s Farm from a Bordeaux.”
“Why waste money at the store on new wine when you have free wine in the basement?”
“I may not appreciate good wine, but there are plenty of other people who do. I’m going to get these guys some Woodbridge. We’ll save a few bottles to break out when I bring clients over for dinner. The rest I’m going to sell to someone who values the wine as much as Uncle Simon did. Then you and I are going to take the money and go on a cruise.”
Gerald continued, “Uncle Simon didn’t leave me the wine because he thought I would drink it. He knew I was the only person in his family who wouldn’t waste it. His bequest was the value of the wine, not the wine itself.”
Simon’s wife rolled her eyes with a smile and said, “Well, go to the store then. You economists are a bunch of dorks.”
“Yeah, but if I didn’t know these things, then I wouldn’t be able to afford a young crazy stripper wife.”