Okay, so I’m in my local coffee place and I need a napkin. I find the dispenser and reach for a single napkin. But the napkin doesn’t budge because the dispenser is jammed with napkins. When I pull a little harder, my napkin tears and I end up with a quarter-sized piece of useless paper. So I spend a few second trying to get the rest of the napkin out, but to no avail. Finally, in frustration, I jam my fingers in the dispenser slot and pull out about twenty napkins. I take one for myself and leave the rest perched on the dispenser.
How many times has this happened to me? A dozen? A hundred? No, probably several hundred, at least. It seems like there’s a secret rule in establishments that use napkin dispensers. It goes something like this: When you are refilling the napkin dispenser, be sure to jam it so full of napkins that it’s impossible to for a customer to take only one, intact napkin.
Why? Why, oh why is this the unwritten, universally honored rule of napkin dispensers? Can somebody please answer this existential question for me?