On The Train

A young boy was traveling on a long train trip across Canada. Sitting across from him was an older man, very neatly and precisely dressed. Across his knees he carried a briefcase upon which he nervously drummed his fingers. Since he looked to be rather an angry sort of man, the boy didn’t like to start a conversation.

Presently the man opened the briefcase and took out two paper napkins, a pocketknife and an apple. Carefully he peeled and cored the apple. He placed all the peelings on one of the two napkins and folded it into a neat parcel. Then he moved his briefcase to one side, stood up, and walked to the end of the coach. By craning his neck, the boy was able to watch him move out onto the little platform at the end of the car and throw the parcel of peel onto the tracks.

When the man returned he dusted his hands, sat down and lifted the briefcase back up across his knees. He picked up the peeled and cored apple, carefully cut it into thin slices, placed the slices onto the second napkin and made a similar neat parcel. To the boy’s amazement he then repeated his routine. He moved to the end of the coach and threw the parcel on the line. When he returned, he picked up his briefcase, took out two more napkins and an orange which he began to peel…

(Now you spin out the story, having the man take all kinds of fruit, one at a time, from his case, peel each piece and throw away first the peel and then the fruit itself)

At last the young boy could contain himself no longer and simply had to ask the man what he was doing.

"I’m making a fruit salad," said the man.

"Then why do you keep throwing it away?" the boy asked.

"I should think that was obvious," snapped the man. "I’m throwing it away because I don’t like fruit salad!"