The Poor Tailor and the French Restaurant
Old Ben was a poor tailor whose shop was next door to a very upscale French restaurant. Every day at lunch time, Ben would go out the back of his shop and eat his black bread and herring while smelling the wonderful odors coming from the restaurant’s kitchen.
One day, Ben was surprised to receive an invoice from the restaurant for ‘enjoyment of food’. So he went to the restaurant to point out that he had not bought anything from them. The manager said, “You’re enjoying our food, so you should pay us for it.”
Ben refused to pay and the restaurant sued him. At the hearing, the judge asked the restaurant to present their side of the case. The manager said, “Every day, this man comes and sits outside our kitchen and smells our food while eating his. It is clear that we are providing added value to his poor food and we deserve to be compensated for it.”
The judge turns to Ben and said, “What do you have to say to that?”
Ben didn’t say anything but stuck his hand in his pocket and rattled the few coins he had inside.
The judge asked him, “What is the meaning of that gesture?”
Ben replied, “I’m paying for the smell of his food with the sound of my money.”
This page was last updated February 1, 2008.