Before getting married, when I lived alone in an apartment, there was a knock on the door. I opened it and there stood a man not much older than I, whom I didn't recognize. But obviously he recognized me, for he said with enthusiasm, "Hi, Dale!" and as he walked right in, added, "It's been a long time!" We shook hands like old friends, and I was beating my brain trying to figure out who this guy was. He plopped down on my couch, as though he was sure I wanted him to, and I sat down in a chair opposite him, trying to act as if I was seeing an old friend, but still not knowing who he was. He began visiting with me, and I was about to come right out and ask him who he was, when he grinned and said, "Paul's outside."
He turned out to be Bob, a guy who worked for my brother Paul. And Paul is a genius when it comes to practical jokes. He sent Bob in to act like my old friend and totally confuse me. I went to the door and let my mischievous brother in, too, and the three of us had a good laugh.
Well that was a great practical joke, but I thought of one better. What if the joke was on Bob? What if Paul had taken Bob to the apartment of a stranger, telling him his brother lived there, and told him to do just what he did? And when Bob finally watched enough confusion and grinned and said, "Paul's outside," what would he do when the person asked, "Who's Paul?" and Paul would be nowhere to be found?
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