11. Play it dumb
Getting onto the NJ Turnpike once, there was an attendant at each both handing out something to each driver. I assumed that meant the machines that issue tickets indicating where you got on were broken.
Turns out they were handing out pamphlets advertising EasyPass, and I had skipped the functioning ticket machine. By Turnpike rules, I would have to pay the full fee as though I had driven the entire length.
As I approached my exit, I came up with a plan: act stupid. When I pulled up to the tollbooth window, I said, against every grammatical fiber in my being, "I ain't got no ticket."
The attendant rolled her eyes and asked where I had entered.
Playing dumb saved me about $5.
12. Dinner reservation for 4 on the spot
My folks were in town, and my wife and I wanted to take them to dinner.
We head to a nearby mediocre steakhouse at the request of my parents, and it's around 6:00pm.
The hostesses tell us there's a minimum 45 minute wait. I get suspicious, as their parking lot had barely any cars, so I peek around into their dining area. There are several open tables that would fit a party of 4. Mildly annoyed, I ask the hostesses why we can't be seated at any of these tables. They reply that they're being held for future reservations.
I get on my smartphone, open the OpenTable app, make a reservation for 6:15pm for a party of 4, and we're seated immediately.
13. Buy and refund
A few years ago, my parents bought a sound bar from Best Buy, around mid-November. Two weeks later, Black Friday rolls around, and the sound bar is on sale. I happened to be visiting, so we roll over to Best Buy, receipt in hand, to see about getting a price adjustment. It's busy, but not terribly so... but the manager flat refuses, and says they won't do any price adjustments on Black Friday sales. I can tell my parents are about to blow a fuse, so I pull them away.
Instead, we go over to the speaker section, grab the identical sound bar, and take it up front to buy (at the lower price.) As soon as we're done at checkout, we take the box to the customer service counter, and return it with the old (higher price) receipt, no questions asked.
14. Duct tape to the rescue!
Got a football stuck in a tree. We tried for about 20 minutes to throw balls at it to get it down and to climb high enough to remove the ball. Nothing worked. I tried to be funny and said, "I know what to do!" I ran to my garage and got out some duct tape.
"DUCT TAPE SOLVES EVERYTHING!"
I threw the roll of tape and knocked down the ball.
15. The vacuum sucking character costume
I work at an all student run drama program at my high school. 2 years ago we were putting on a production of beauty and the beast. The problem was how we would show the beasts transformation at the end of the play. He couldn't leave stage, and taking the costume off took 30+ seconds. Eventually, a friend of mine had the idea of strapping a small vacuum to the beasts back and sucking it off. We all laughed our butts off until we realized "OH! that may actually work." With a little lighting misdirection by yours truly, the vacuum sucked off the costume in half a second, and no one even saw it happen. Still can't believe that worked.