The Traveler’s Tale

There’s an old story – origins unknown- about a traveler whose car broke down late one afternoon at the outskirts of the town. To make things worse, it was raining heavily. He got down in disgust to find that he had a flat tyre.  He was in a hurry as he had to reach town for an important meeting. He saw he was in a desolate place. An old signboard told him that the adjoining grounds  belonged to the local mental asylum.

As he worked frantically to change the tyre, his hand hit the hubcap where he had kept all the four nuts taken off  the tyre. The hubcap flew into the nearby storm water drain and vanished before he could react. Now, he was well and truly stuck!  How could he fit the spare tyre without these precious nuts?

Despite the noise of the falling rain, he thought he heard someone talking. He saw a wild looking fellow peering at him from behind the fence of the asylum, watching him with interest as he wondered what to do next.  The traveler was totally foxed. He had no clue what to do.

“Take one nut from each of the other three tyres” said the man behind the fence. “The town is not too far away and you will be able to manage despite all the tyres having three nuts each”.  He thought about it and realized it was a brilliant idea. He did just as he was advised.

He started the car and turned to thank the man behind the fence. “Thanks, so much. Honest, I never expected such a great idea from someone in a mental asylum.”

The man behind the fence said “I may be crazy but I am not stupid!”

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