A broker, an actuary and an agent are all caught drinking smuggled liquor while staying in Saudi Arabia. Under Saudi law, simply possessing alcohol is an offense punishable by death.
However, the local prince is feeling generous that day, so he commutes the death sentence and instead sentences each to 20 lashes. After further thought, the prince does not want to offend the American government, so he also grants each a wish to ease their suffering.
The broker is punished first because he drank the most.
“What is your wish?”, asks the saudi prince.
“I’d like to have a pillow on my back,” replies the broker.
So a pillow is placed on his back, and the punishment begins. The pillow holds up for about 10 lashes, after which the broker screams out in pain.
The actuary had only a few drinks, so he is punished next.
“I’d like to have two pillows on my back,” boldly states the actuary.
So two pillows are placed on his back, and the punishment begins. The pillows hold up for about 15 lashes, after which the actuary screams out in pain.
Finally, the agent steps forward. Of the three, he was the only one who didn’t drink. The Saudi prince is impressed by this, and grants him two wishes.
The agent then states, “Well, for my first wish, I want to receive 100 lashes, not 20.”
“Your courage is impressive,” states the prince. “and for your second wish?”
“Strap the actuary onto my back”, replies the agent.