The judges' mix-up

After that, I continued watching the walking races. In one race, two Bengalis stood first and second. One finished at least three minutes behind the other. But the judges mixed it up, and declared the second-place winner first.

When they made the announcement, everybody started laughing. The judges got mad because they felt they could not make such a mistake. The one who stood second went to the judge and said, “I was far behind him.”

The judge said, “I don’t want to hear that.”

So the one who was second went and embraced the one who really had stood first. He said, “What can we do?”

The other one said, “Let us go out for a cup of coffee.”

The wives of the first and second finishers were roaring with laughter. Fortunately the couples were good friends. So all four of them went out for a cup of coffee.

— 31 March 1983