In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less than they do now, an 8 year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.
“How much is an ice cream sundae?” he asked.
“50¢,” replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and began painstakingly counting the change he held in it. “Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?” he inquired.
By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. “35¢!” she brusquely replied.
The little boy again counted his coins, the customers behind him stirring, the waitress rolling her eyes and letting out a long, aggravated sigh.
Finally, he said: “I’ll have the plain ice cream.”
The waitress left, brought the ice cream out, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the meal, paid the cashier and left.
When the waitress came back, she broke into tears as she looked the bill over. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies. You see, he couldn’t have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.
Source: A long-circulating internet anecdote with no known author.