From the inimitable Joe Kaulfersch:
Three engineering contractors are bidding to fix the White House security system. One from New Jersey, another from Tennessee and the third, Florida. They go with a White House official to examine the system. The Florida contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. "Well," he says. "I figure the job will run about $900: $400 for materials, $400 for my crew and $100 profit for me." The Tennessee contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, "I can do this job for $700: $300 for materials, $300 for my crew and $100 profit for me." The New Jersey contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the White House official and whispers: "$2,700." The official, incredulous, says, "You didn't even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?" "Easy," the Jerseyian explains, "$1,000 for you, $1,000 for me and we hire the guy from Tennessee."