John was a clerk at a small pharmacy but he was not much of a salesman. He could never find the item the customer wanted.
Peter, 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 asked John for the best cough syrup. Try as he might, John couldn’t find the cough syrup.
Remembering Peter’s warning, John sold the man a box of laxatives and told him to take them all at once. The customer did as John suggested and then walked outside and leaned against a post.
Peter had seen all this occur and came over to ask John what had happened.
“He wanted something for his cough, but I couldn’t find the cough syrup, so I substituted if for laxatives and told him to take them all at once,” John said.
Peter was shocked. “Laxatives won’t cure a cough!” he shouted angrily.
“Sure they will,” said John, pointing at the man leaning on the post. “Look at him! He’s afraid to cough!”