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An entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #35: Restricted Title 1.


Bob and Alice were talking about their friend Jenny. Alice was asking Bob why...

Jenny bought an item for 6 dollars, then she carefully placed it in the trash.
She was not angry, disheartened, or sad;
she did not eat anything in between;
nor did she use it in between.

Just then, Jenny came walking over and said that she was buying ______.

What did she say?

*Not a lottery ticket or scratch off

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  • $\begingroup$ What can you sit on, sleep on, and brush your teeth with? $\endgroup$ – Anthony May 31 '18 at 7:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Anthony A toothbrush? Nobody said sitting on it or sleeping on it was normal, but you certainly can do it :P $\endgroup$ – Ruadhan2300 May 31 '18 at 9:59
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    $\begingroup$ @Ruadhan2300 So close. "A chair, a bed, and a toothbrush". $\endgroup$ – Anthony May 31 '18 at 10:01
  • $\begingroup$ Gah. implicit assumption it was a single item :P good call. $\endgroup$ – Ruadhan2300 May 31 '18 at 10:19
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    $\begingroup$ In all of these examples I would say that grammatically they ask for a single answer. The Breadbox Pizzeria/Bakery shop does stand-up comedy on tuesdays might be a suitable answer :P From the context, it becomes clear that multiple answers are required but with the unspoken preface that "I don't know anywhere which does all of them at once but..." $\endgroup$ – Ruadhan2300 Jun 1 '18 at 8:20
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She just bought

a bunch of trash bags

EDIT : 2nd answer for fun (solely based on the fact that there is a "situation" tag. Be prepared for a really convoluted answer)

jenny was buying

time

because the situation is the following :

Jenny is friend with Alice and Bob who don't know each other. She thinks that the two would be a perfect match so she arranged for them to meet. In order for the two to break the ice, she decided to leave them both alone for a short time, so she pretexted to go buy something. She just took the first thing that she saw in the shop (which happened to cost $6). But once jenny got out of the shop she realized that she bought something really useless and just threw it with the trash. Unfortunately, Jenny's plan miserably failed because instead of getting to know each other, Alice and Bob just spoke about Jenny's weird behavior.

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    $\begingroup$ I like the edit alternative! $\endgroup$ – QuantumTwinkie May 30 '18 at 16:44
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    $\begingroup$ Why would you put this item (plural) in the trash? $\endgroup$ – JBentley May 30 '18 at 17:02
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    $\begingroup$ @JBentley that's where lateral-thinking comes in place, I did not take "placed carefully in the trash" litterally like in "throwing in the trash", but as doing something with the trash and the object. And since from the 3 last lines i deduced that the object was actually meant to be used with trash it seemed like a reasonable answer $\endgroup$ – Kant1 May 30 '18 at 17:51
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    $\begingroup$ We understood that. Our question is why would they place a bunch of trash bags in the trash (at once). $\endgroup$ – ikegami May 31 '18 at 6:53
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    $\begingroup$ I agree, the riddle says "she carefully placed it in the trash" not "them". So if she bought multiple bags: a) she will have eaten before using the second bag, b) she will have used "it" (the first trash bag) before before placing "it" (any subsequent trash bag). I feel like the clue that it costs $6 is really just to make it intentionally harder, not clever-er. $\endgroup$ – Anthony May 31 '18 at 7:11
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She was buying

$6 air fresheners

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She bought

Easter eggs, one of which she cleverly hid in the trash. No one will think to look in there!

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    $\begingroup$ Ha ha +1 That is an expensive Easter egg! $\endgroup$ – QuantumTwinkie May 30 '18 at 15:25
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    $\begingroup$ @QuantumTwinkie I think the other answer is also expensive at that unit price. $\endgroup$ – noedne May 30 '18 at 15:26
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    $\begingroup$ Hmm I guess. But they were deluxe bags of course. $\endgroup$ – QuantumTwinkie May 30 '18 at 15:27
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    $\begingroup$ @noedne, I was thinking exactly the same thing, so much so that I actually checked the other item’s prices on Amazon. Turns out that out the things are pretty expensive really. (It’s actually pretty common to place the roll at the bottom of the bin, since you usually only need the roll whenever you have removed the previous liner from the bin.) $\endgroup$ – Bass May 30 '18 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Bass Ahh, I did not think of her doing that with the item. $\endgroup$ – noedne May 30 '18 at 16:07
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She bought

A cinema ticket (or any ticket that allow an entry to something and that you can throw once you pass the door)

An other answer could be

She bought something from a charity, she didn't really care what it was and she threw it, but she was happy to help the charity

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    $\begingroup$ I guess this would count as having used the item, though. $\endgroup$ – noedne May 30 '18 at 15:35
  • $\begingroup$ hmmm, you are probably right, I would have answered "a drink", but I assume that as she didn't eat, she didn't drink either $\endgroup$ – Nank May 30 '18 at 15:36
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    $\begingroup$ Drinking would probably also count as using. $\endgroup$ – noedne May 30 '18 at 15:37
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She bought a

Spring-loaded Snake as a gag to scare her garbage collector.

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    $\begingroup$ hahaha, very funny! $\endgroup$ – QuantumTwinkie May 31 '18 at 14:23
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In the past, Jenny has frequently had several trivial home problems. She likes to cook, and in the process, discards organic waste in her trash. On several occasions recently, her trash has leaked out onto the pavement outside her house.

Jenny has two roommates who have night shifts, but Jenny has a morning shift. As such, she has to wake up early, cook breakfast, and go to work. In the process, there is a lot of noise, and she has, on occasion, accidentally woken up her roommates.

A couple of days ago, her trash can broke because she threw something into it from far. She regrets it now but her new trash can hasn't arrived in her mail yet.

Oh well. So she bought a waterproof, non-sound-making, sturdy (not easily tearing) trash bag that she carefully placed inside her trash can for the upcoming few days.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling SE! Very interesting, detailed response. While it's true that in some corner of the universe this could have been the intended answer, the actual intended answer has already been given, like 5 hours ago. Why not take the tour and familiarize yourself with the site? You'll get a badge for doing so. I look forward to seeing your future contributions. $\endgroup$ – Chowzen May 30 '18 at 20:34
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    $\begingroup$ ...and I always get my non-sound-making, not-easily-tearing trash bags via mail order, FYI. $\endgroup$ – Chowzen May 30 '18 at 20:36
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She was buying

A lottery ticket

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  • $\begingroup$ Nope, she was not sad putting it in. So she did not lose. $\endgroup$ – QuantumTwinkie May 30 '18 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ @QuantumTwinkie For the record, I never get angry, disheartened, or sad at losing lottery tickets. =p I expect to lose and just try to enjoy the scratching. $\endgroup$ – jpmc26 May 31 '18 at 19:31
  • $\begingroup$ The scratching is pretty entertaining :D. But I said she did not use the object in between. $\endgroup$ – QuantumTwinkie May 31 '18 at 19:32
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She bought:

Food for homeless people in alleyways behind the house.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling.SE! Could you elaborate on your answer? - how does it answer all the parts (specifically, when did she place her purchase in the trash)? $\endgroup$ – puzzledPig May 31 '18 at 2:31
  • $\begingroup$ She doesn't have to use the food. If it's pre-prepared, she could put it out without even unwrapping it. $\endgroup$ – Anthony May 31 '18 at 7:04
  • $\begingroup$ Why put it in the trash instead of just handing it over, though? lol $\endgroup$ – jpmc26 May 31 '18 at 19:32
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As many people, Jenny faces the problem of

not having enough space in her house.

So because

the last available space in her house is an yet unused trash bin - which she bought a year ago but never needed (she has another one for actual trash) - she now uses it as a container for her stuff.

The item she was buying was

whatever stuff you can buy for 6 dollars and put in a trash bin. Maybe it's just one of those things you buy because they seem cool and then put anywhere and forget forever (would match Jenny's style here). Or maybe it's food for her cat and she didn't manage to find a good other place for it. Or [put anything here]...

This answer also explains why she placed the item

carefully

in the trash.

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