John

Last week I was in Bristol visiting some good friends of mine. We visited an all-dessert restaurant (where I had a delicious ice cream sundae) and were then headed back to my friend’s flat to go and play Wii U games.

However, on the way to the flat we encountered a homeless man called John. He told us that he needed 40p for a bus he had to catch and asked if any of us could spare anything. I had lots of change and could easily afford to spare 40p, so, of course I gave it to him.

“Ah, you’re so stingey. I’m homeless, mate. Asking for 40p is just a euphemism. I want all of your money,” he said.

“Well, in that case why did you just ask for 40p? Honesty is always the best policy. You asked for 40p, so I gave you 40p,” I replied.

“Look, I’m homeless. Isn’t obvious that I need all the money I can get?” he asked.

“Well, I suppose so,” I said as I gave him the rest of the money in my wallet, “but you should really be more honest when asking people for money.”

“Ah, thanks, mate! You’re so kind,” he said, and he actually went on for quite a while. Thanking me, telling me how he’d learned an important lesson about honesty, hugging me and so forth.

“What’s your name?” he asked, eventually.

“My name is Adam Randall,” I said.

“And you?” he said to my friend Oscar Taylor-Kent, who had been awkwardly silent the whole time.

“I’m John,” said Oscar.

“John what?” he asked, hoping for a surname.

“Yes, that’s right,” he said.

He actually fell for that trick, but I thought it was quite a funny joke and couldn’t help laughing, making him realise he was being “wound up”. After that, he told us that he thought we were in the military and then that was about that. I found it quite funny that anybody thought I had some kind of military background and other than that, it was just an unusual encounter that I wanted to share.

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