This one’s a classic. I remember telling it to people all the time when I was a little kid.
The minister realized his Church was getting into serious financial trouble. However, while checking the Church storeroom, he discovered dozens of cartons of new Bibles that had never been opened and distributed. So at his Sunday sermon, he asked for three volunteers from the congregation who would be willing to sell the Bibles door-to-door for $10 each to raise the desperately needed money for the Church.
Peter, Paul and Louis all raised their hands to volunteer for the task. The minister knew that Peter and Paul earned their living as salesmen and were likely capable of selling some Bibles. But he had serious doubts about Louis, who was a local farmer who had always kept to himself because he was embarrassed by his speech impediment — poor Louis stuttered badly. But, not wanting to discourage Louis, the minister decided to let him try anyway. He sent the three of them away with the back seat of their cars stacked with Bibles. He asked them to meet with him and report the results of their door-to-door selling efforts the following Sunday.
Anxious to find out how successful they were, the minister immediately asked, “Well, Peter, how did you make out selling our Bibles last week?”
Proudly handing the reverend an envelope, Peter replied, “Using my sales prowess, I was able to sell 20 Bibles, and here’s the $200 I collected for the Church.”
“Fine job, Peter!” the minister said, vigorously shaking his hand. “You are indeed a fine salesman and the Church is indebted to you.”
Turning to Paul he said, “And Paul, how many bibles did you sell for the Church last week?”
Paul, smiling and sticking out his chest, confidently replied, “I am a professional salesman. I sold 28 Bibles for the Church, and here is the $280 I collected.”
The minister responded, “That’s absolutely splendid, Paul! You are truly a professional salesman and the Church is also indebted to you.”
Apprehensively, the minister turned to Louis and said, “And Louis, did you manage to sell any Bibles last week?”
Louis silently offered the minister a large envelope. The reverend opened it and counted the contents.
“What is this!?” the minister exclaimed. “Louis, there’s $3,200 in here! Are you suggesting that you sold 320 Bibles for the Church, door to door, in just one week?”
Louis just nodded.
“That’s impossible!” Peter and Paul said in unison. “We are professional salesmen, yet you claim to have sold 10 times as many Bibles as we could!”
“Yes, this does seem unlikely,” the minister agreed. “I think you better explain how you managed to accomplish this, Louis.”
“I-I-I re-re-really do-do-don t kn-kn-know f-f-f-for sh-sh-sh-sure,” he stammered.
Impatiently, Peter interrupted. “For crying out loud, Louis, just tell us what you said to them when they answered the door!”
“A-a-a-all I-I-I s-s-said wa-wa-was,” Louis replied,” W-w-w-w-would y-y-y-you l-l-l-like t-t-to b-b-b-buy th-th-th-this B-B-B-B-Bible f-f-for t-t-ten b-b-b-bucks or wo-wo-would yo-you J-j-just l-like m-m-me T-t-to st-st-stand h-h-here and r-r-r-r-r-read It t-to y-y-you?”