In the 1990s, NBC sitcom Seinfeld took the world by storm. It did well in the ratings, featured some of the highest regarded episodes of television ever made, and is considered by many to be the best television show of all time.
And while Seinfeld brought laughter and entertainment to our homes for the better part of a decade, it did something much more important in the 7th season. In the 21st and 22nd episodes of that season, it answered a question we had all asked ourselves for years: If we gathered up enough cans and bottles in Connecticut (where the deposit refund is just 5 cents), could we haul them out to Michigan and make a profit on the 10-cent deposit refund there?
Kramer had already thoroughly tested the idea. He looked at it from every angle. He crunched every number. The answer, sadly, was no. That is, until Newman commandeered a special Mother’s Day mail truck, suddenly cutting out the gas costs that had shredded Kramer’s margins. They had solved the riddle.
And it’s a good thing they did it back then, because Connecticut could soon make the whole premise of that score a lot easier to solve.
According to The New Haven Register, Governor Malloy’s budget proposal includes a deposit refund increase that would have Connecticut match Michigan’s 10-cent refund. The plan is expected to bring in about $12 million for the state, but more important, it would seriously alter the plot line of one of the best episodes of Seinfeld.
Newman and Kramer wouldn’t have to find legally questionable means of transporting empty bottles and cans 700 miles from New York City to Saginaw, Michigan. No, they could just load up any old car, cross a bridge, hit 95, and be claiming their 10 cent deposit refund in less than two hours.
Honestly, this is a little upsetting. Seinfeld has managed to hold up pretty well over the last 20 years, and while I’m all for creative solutions to solving Connecticut’s budget problems, I’m not sure it’s worth poking a gaping hole in the plot line of this classic scheme.