John was a clerk in a small drugstore but he was not much of a
salesman. He could never find the item the customer wanted. Bob, the
owner, had had about enough and warned John that the next sale he missed
would be his last.
Just then a man came in coughing and he asked John for their best cough
syrup. Try as he might, John could not find the cough syrup. Remembering
Bob's warning, he sold the man a box of Ex-Lax and told him to take it
all at once. The customer did as John said and then walked outside and
leaned against a lamp post.
Bob had seen the whole thing and came over to ask John what had
"He wanted something for his cough but I couldn't find the cough syrup.
I substituted Ex-Lax and told him to take it all at once," John
"Ex-Lax won't cure a cough!" Bob shouted angrily.
"Sure it will," John said, pointing at the man leaning on the lamppost.
"Look at him. He's afraid to cough."