The Favor

Recently, on a cold windy morning, as I approached the office building I work in, I was stopped for directions by a young man – maybe 30 years old. Heading in the same direction we engaged in conversation. I soon learned he was from southern California and unused to the Northeast cold. Nearing the entrance to my building, I spied two of my colleagues on the far side of the entrance enjoying a smoke break. I left the young man from southern California to continue on his way and pass by my colleagues as I turned into the building. Prior to departing, I asked him for a favor. Would he, as he passed my colleagues, tell them that I (and I gave him my name) thought they were f—ing idiots for smoking and for smoking in this weather. He laughed and said he would.
The following afternoon returning to the building from lunch, I was accosted by my two colleagues who were again engaged in smoking. They laughingly informed me that a young man on the previous day had walked up to them and said “Some guy had paid him $5 to tell them they were f—ing idiots.” Imagine my surprise.

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