Monday, April 23, 2007

Gordon and the donkey

Many years ago a young Scot called Gordon bought a donkey from an old farmer for £100.00. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day. When the farmer drove up the next day, he said, "Sorry son, but I have some bad news...the donkey is on my truck, but he's dead."

The young Scotsman replied, "Well then, just give me my money back." The farmer confessed, "I can't do that. I've already spent it." The Scotsman said, "OK then, just unload the donkey anyway". The farmer asked, "What are you going to do with him?" The young man said, "I'm going to raffle him off." To which the farmer exclaimed, "You can't raffle off a dead donkey!" But the Scot, with a big smile on his face, said "Of course I can. Just watch me. I just won't tell anybody that he's dead."

A month later the two met up again and the farmer asked, "What happened with that dead donkey?"

The young Scot said, "I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two pounds a piece and made a huge profit." Totally amazed, the farmer asked, "Didn't anyone complain that you had stolen their money because you lied about the donkey being dead?" And the young man replied, "The only person who found out about the donkey being dead was the raffle winner, when he came to claim his prize. So I gave him his £2 back plus £200 extra, which is double the going value of a donkey, and he thought I was wonderful."

The young Scotsman grew up and eventually became the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and no matter how many times he lied or how much money he stole from the voters, as long as he gave some of them back some of the stolen money, most of them thought he was wonderful.

The moral of this story is that, if you think Gordon is about to play fair and do something for the everyday people of the country think again my friend, because you'll be better off flogging a dead donkey.

[Variations on this modern fable have been circulating on the internet in recent weeks so I thought I should include a copy here for posterity]

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