Trading Places

A world-famous scientist was being driven to a university where he was scheduled to give a lecture. During the drive, he complained to his chauffeur: “I’m not sure how much longer I can do this. I’m so bored with giving the same lecture at every campus we visit.”

“I have an idea,” said the driver. “I’ve been listening from the back of the room each time you’ve given this lecture. I know the material pretty well. Why don’t we trade places today? I’ll take your notes and give your speech, and you can sit in the back of the room and observe.”

“I’ll take you up on that offer,” replied the scientist. Before they arrived at their destination, the pair pulled into a rest area and traded clothes. The scientist then drove the rest of the way while the driver sat in the backseat reviewing the lecture notes.

The driver was able to pull off the lecture with no one in the audience aware of the deception. Several minutes into the Q&A portion of the presentation a student asked a rather complicated question. The scientist began to panic. This was something they hadn’t anticipated.

Yet the driver, standing confidently at the podium, maintained his composure as he said, “The answer to that question is so simple, I’m going to let my driver, seated in the back of the room, answer that.”


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