A traveling salesman stopping at a small-town hotel approached the cashier one morning. "I'm carrying more money than I like to," he said importantly. "Will you take care of this $100 bill for me?" The cashier put it in the safe, gave a receipt.

The hotel's butcher called to collect what was due him, $100. The drummer's money being handy, the cashier paid with that. The butcher went on down the street, paid his rent, $100. The landlord owed his lawyer $100. The lawyer owed the doctor. The doctor owed the hotel $100....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!