There were once two people travelling on a train, a lawyer and a tourist, who were riding in the same compartment. They had never met before, so naturally, there wasn’t much conversation between the two.
The tourist was idly minding his own business, and looking out the window, until there was a sudden turn in the tracks of the train. The violent turn made the lawyer give a sharp grumble.
The lawyer was very uptight, trying work through and memorizing various legal statutes and cases. Finally, the lawyer was so bored, that he said to the tourist, “Hey, do you want to play a game?”
The tourist, being content with what he was doing, ignored him and continued looking out the window, humming quietly to himself. This infuriated the lawyer, who irratibly asked again, “Hey, you, do you want to play a game? I’ll ask you a question, and if you get it wrong, you give me $5. Then, YOU ask ME a question, and if I can’t answer it, I’ll give YOU $5.”
The tourist thought about this for a moment, but he decided against it, seeing that the lawyer was obviously a very bright man. He politely turned down the lawyer’s offer.
The lawyer, who, by this time was going mad, tried a final time. “Look, I’ll ask you a question, and if you can’t answer it, you give me $5. Then you ask ME a question, and if I can’t answer it, I’ll give you $50!”
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Now, the tourist was not that smart academically, but he wasn’t totally stupid. He readily accepted the offer. “Okay,” the lawyer said, “what is the EXACT distance between the Earth and the Moon?”
The tourist, obviously not knowing the answer, didn’t stop to think about the lawyer’s question. He took a $5 note out of his pocket and handed it to the lawyer. The lawyer happily accepted the bill and promptly said, “Okay, now it’s your turn.”
The tourist thought about this for a few minutes, then asked, “Alright, what goes up a mountain on three legs, but comes down on four?”
The bright glow quickly vanished from the lawyer’s face. He thought about this for a long time, taking out his notepad and making numerous calculations, and thinking through his own research and experience.
He finally gave up on his notepad and took out his laptop, using his electronic encyclopedia.
After about an hour of this, the tourist quietly watching the mountains of Colorado go by the whole time, the lawyer FINALLY gave up. He reluctantly handed the tourist a $50 bill. The tourist accepted it graciously, turning back to the window.
“Wait!” the lawyer shouted. “You can’t do this to me! What’s the answer??”
The tourist looked at the lawyer and calmly put a $5 note into his hand.