Ok, so this is my first foray into the group blog, and I don't know if this post is all that exciting, but I feel this really captures something that I love about New York, and I think that's a subject that is important to all of us.
You might love New York City for various reasons, the nightlife or the culture, the history or the ultra chic neighborhoods, but I love New York for the delis. There are literally hundreds of delis in New York City, both in and outside Manhattan that run on what is a less than static pricing scale. I love the fact that I can, and have, walked into the same deli every day for a week, say Monday to Friday, order the same sandwich with the same drink and be charged a different price each day. Usually the prices don't vary by much, but depending on which deli you go to and the level of wherewithall of the cashier it may vary by as much as a dollar.
When you go to a deli with the sliding price scale it's like a little adventure to see how much you'll be charged each day and it adds a little bit of excitement to the trip. As long as you're within, say, a 50 cent price range it's something that just adds to the drama.
I've decided that there are a few reasons for this phenomenon. The first is that there are delis that charge for everything you put on the sandwich, like tomatos and cheese and what not. So if you don't say anything the guy just assumes the toppings you have and charges according to that. A lot of times I get charged for cheese even though I don't ever order cheese. If that happens, I make sure they don't ass that extra charge. As an aside, I really hate the delis that charge for the standard toppings like tomatos and lettuce and onions. That shit should be free. The second reason I've come up with is that if you get a different cashier on a different day, then they have the menu in their heads differently, so you get charged according to the cashier. The third, and most common, is that the cashier is kindof stupid and just charges about what shit costs every time.
Anyway, you should try this out and see if it doesn't add some excitement to your day. This doesn't work with well established places or chains that have a well defined pricing guide, but I imagine that most big cities have those individual delis with arbitrary pricing schedules, so find the one hear you and add that much needed spice to your life.