Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken stairway at the Michigan State Capitol Building in Lansing. One contractor from Grand Ledge, another from DeWitt and the third from Lansing. The contractors go with a State Capitol Official to examine the stairway.
The Grand Ledge 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 $38,000: $14,000 for materials, $14,000 for my crew and $10,000 profit for me."
The DeWitt contractor also does some measuring and figuring, and then says I can do this job for $35,000: $14,000 for materials, $14,000 for my crew and $7,000 profit for me."
The Lansing contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the State Capitol Official and whispers, "$85,000."
The official, incredulous, says, "You didn't even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?"
The Lansing contractor whispers back, "$25,000 for me, $25,000 for you, and we hire the guy from DeWitt to fix the stairway."
The laughter continues @ Smokin' Joe's Cafe
Criticalthinker at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons