Ted and Ned

Lew Goddard

Edited by Anne Goddard

© Copyright 2021 by Lew Goddard

Photo by Wiebrig Krakau on Unsplash
                                 Photo by Wiebrig Krakau on Unsplash                                     

Two old fictitious friends in their seventies and retired for quite a few years struggle to make things happen and create kinships that promote joy in their lives. My intention is to make the story interesting, intense and funny as possible. Enjoy

Ted was sitting facing the entrance door in a booth that could rest four people but he was alone. Waiting was not an exciting thing for him and he was checking his watch every twenty seconds. His friend, Ned said he would meet Ted here at 9:00 A. M. sharp, it was already seven minutes after nine.

He was in his seventies but in a rangy sort of way he appeared quite fit. There were wrinkle signs in his face that went round his neck under the unruly hair that he brandished under his baseball cap designating Saskatchewan Roughriders foot ball team. Grin wrinkles, I must say, were the most prominent. Sitting slouched in the vinyl booth seat; it didn’t appear that he was six feet three inches tall when he stood up.

Ned arrived and Ted looked crookedly at him as he dropped into the opposite side of the booth where he always sat. Where Ted was thin and wiry, Ned was quite different. Not many wrinkles probably due to the fact that he had fat jowls hanging from his face that hadn’t been shaved for the last three days. Ted reckoned that he carried nearly two hundred fifty pounds on his five-foot eleven body. Ned topped this off with an always friendly look and smile.

Well, how’s the state of your constipation this morning?” Ted asked.

Ned grinned and said that he was just as strong as always.

Is that from the rear end or are you referring to the top end?”

A scowl raced across Ned’s face and he said, “Stop needling me all the time,”

Well, I had no inkling that I had perturbed you my fine friend,” Ted muttered.

Ned growled,” It’s bad enough to have this stupid Covert 19 without your stupid statements.”

That’s Covid-19 Ned,” Ted corrected him.

Whatever.” Ned replied without looking up.

Ted stood and turned toward the washrooms.

The waitress arrived at the booth and Ned ordered coffee with three sugars and said the Ted would like coffee with cream.

This was nothing new to the server since she had known them for almost ten years.

When Ted returned, he sat with a thump and commented, “Damn prostrate’s getting bigger every day and every time I turn around, I have to pee.”

Don’t turn around so much and the word is Prostate, Ted.”

Whatever,” Ted snorted.

Ned inquired, “How’s that old couple that live next to you. Do they still go out every day and drive someplace with their fancy Lexus?”

That’s a damn nice car and I wish I had one instead of my eighteen-year-old van. Can’t afford anything newer either.”

Get a GMC like I have. It’s got nearly three hundred thousand kilometers and it still runs like a top.” Ned implored.

Yeah, but look at all that rust and it rattles so loud it wakes everybody up next to the street, and if it ran like a top it’d be turning around all the time, “Ted chuckled.

Ned scowled at Ted and said, “Why don’t you buy a lotto ticket and when you win, you could buy a Lexus.”

Hell, I can’t even afford that what with the water, gas and electricity going sky high in my wreck of a house I live in.”

They sat quietly for a few moments drinking their coffee.  

Speaking of money, Ted started; I have a question for you.”


Say, if I hired you at one cent the first day and each day your pay would be doubled for thirty days, would you work for me?”

Ned didn’t hesitate very long, “No damn way.”

Are you going to figure that out before you give me your final answer?” Ted questioned.

Ned just looked at Ted

A few moments later another male friend came to their table and quickly pushed Ned further in the seat and he immediately took control of the conversation. Ted and Ned were not pleased with this fellow, Slim, his name was, and they started to clear the table.

Slim nattered along for a bit about the day he’d had and the people he’d talked to, then paused.

He looked both Ted and Ned in the eye and asked, “What happened to a woman who backed into a plane propeller?”

No answers from the other two.

Disaster.” Slim laughed.

There was a loud groan from the two original occupants.

Ted quickly stood up and Ned managed to push Slim out of the way and they made their way to the exit.

See ya tomorrow,” Ned uttered.

They arrived at the same restaurant and the same table at the same time, on the same side of the booth Ted and Ned sat down and ordered coffee.

After some words of the world, Ted said to Ned, “I have an idea to have some fun. You recall the job I offered you yesterday?”

Ned answered in the affirmative.

Well, let’s get in touch with five other guys and offer them the same job at that rate. Just for fun, I’ll bet you a hundred dollars that two of the five will take the job. If four say no to the offer, then I lose. How does that sound?”

Ned frowned, thinking of the hundred dollars that sure would come in handy. Ted had to have two people accept and he had three to start probably and all he had to do was for another person to say no.

Yeah OK, but I get to offer them the job. And,---each one has to answer within let’s say three minutes, and I also get to choose three out of five.” Ned firmly stated.

Ted screwed up his facial wrinkles and the were deep, then he said, “Make that two minutes and we have a deal.”

They shook hands.

They refilled their coffee cups and waited for the first candidate to come along.

Ned spotted a man that he knew and fingered him to come to their table. The new man got a coffee and Ned sprang into the spiel of hiring at one cent the first day and doubling it every day for thirty days. “Would you work for me? You have two minutes to reply,”

The man, about as mature as his table companions, screwed up his wrinkled face. Ned said “Times up.”

The fellow commented, that was a short time for two minutes, but he made up his mind and the answer is “No.”

One for me, “Ned yelped.

This process went on and soon they had a crowd of at least twenty bystanders and they were all loud cheering for one or other of the betters.

Ted picked a candidate and low and behold, without hesitation, he said yes.

More cheering.

At this moment, it was tied.
Ned collected two more in the negative and it didn’t look good for Ted. He looked around as if he couldn’t find a candidate,

Ned whispered to Ted, and he pointed, “That big hombre has been watching all morning, why don’t you try him.”

Ted motioned to him and he came forth. “I haven’t heard the entire story it’s been so loud in here, why don’t you fill me in.”

It was Ted’s turn and he set the time for the answer. The big man frowned, looked away, move his pointer figure on his other palm. “You got a deal,” he grinned at Ted.

Ned tried to start something that the tests haven’t been done properly and anything else he could think of, but to no avail as people crowded around Ted.

Ned paid up right there. Ted spent nearly twenty dollars of the hundred to treat a number of people to coffee.

Finally, the restaurant cleared and since it was now near the lunch hour, Ted and Ned headed home.

Ted started thinking of the fun that they had, had as well as quite a few customers, but there was a little inkling of guilt tickling the back of his neck. The ruse he had planned worked very well. He had already clued in his two recipients as to what the final figure would be at thirty days. It is truly amazing how much money it is.

Well, I’ll sleep on it and see how I feel tomorrow.

The next morning, Ted was full of intentions to tell Ned that he had screwed him out of a hundred dollars, but that was put aside when two men just stopped and sat down at their table. They had not been invited but they were longtime friends.

They each had their turn shedding their life activities and listening to each other. The subject of racism of course arose and offers were made to stop this sort of thing and many tsk’s about what had and has happened to the black man and the people of First Nations.

One of the men. Mike, got up to go to the washroom. He didn’t move very well like he had a lot of pain. Ted commented about that to the other three and they voiced their condolences.

When Mike came back to the table, he looked around at all three and said, “I just had a hemorrhoid operation a couple of days ago and it’s going to be sore for a while.”

Ned chuckled which seemed to be inappropriate. “They used to call them piles when my old man had them. He had an operation when I was about twelve and I was with my Mother when he was coming out of the ether, terrible smelling stuff, and he opened his eyes and in a sleepy voice said “What is it, a boy or a girl?”

They all laughed a bit and got up from the table and departed.

I don’t know how I’m going to tell Ned about the trick I played on him. Guess I could give him back eighty dollars, that’s all I have.

At another day at the same time, same place, same booth, same seating arrangements, sat Ted and Ned.

Neither of them said anything for a few minutes as they were absorbed in the man standing by the front counter.

Ned said, “I know that guy but I don’t remember where or when.”

Same here, “Ted nodded.

I know, “exclaimed Ned.


He’s the one that when this virus thing first started and everybody was buying toilet paper and hand sanitizer. He, maybe others did too, thought that if the disinfectant he read about could kill viruses and bacteria, it should be good to prevent the disease in humans. So, he drank some, at least he tried, and ended up in the hospital for quite some time where they weren’t certain whether he would make it. We see he must have survived,”

Ted sat with a strained look on his face and offered his thoughts, “He may have survived the poison but he obviously succeeded in escaping the ravages of intelligence.”

One of the men, Mike who was involved with the mathematics recently set up by Ted, came and sat down beside Ned.

Several different subjects were visited and then Mike said to Ted, “How did you figure out that if you started to get paid one cent a day and doubled it to thirty days, it would be a good job?”

Ted sat up a little straighter and replied, “I was always a whiz at numbers all the way through school and my profession enabled me to use that expertise quite well.”

Mike and Ned looked at him but neither one answered.

Then there was a pause in the conversation until a new item of interest was brought forth.

The very next day, Ned arrived and was sitting in his perpetual location, a few minutes early.

Ted came in shortly after.

Howdy-dos were exchanged and Ned stated that he had a math problem for Ted. “You said, just yesterday, that you had a lot of expertise in numbers and solving problems.”
I’ll bet you can’t solve this old problem; Ted and I’ll risk a hundred dollars.

In answer to your comment regarding my expertise, I take a lot of pride in what I can do with mathematic problems. And yes, I’ll bet you a hundred dollars, Ted gestured.

Ned said, “Great, I’ll fill you in.”

Go ahead.”

I have a situation that you can help me with. Now, bear in mind that this took place quite some time ago when a twenty was worth a lot of money.”


Late one evening three men entered the hotel, saying that they needed a room for the night but couldn’t find any anywhere. The night clerk advised the three that they had one room left with one double bed and he could have a cot placed in the room as well, for thirty dollars. It’s on the 4th floor and there’s the elevator.

With that, each one of them placed a ten-dollar bill on the counter and took the key to the room upstairs.

With the cash in the drawer, the young night person started to think. He had charged thirty dollars for the room and one of them had to sleep on a cot. He started to feel a bit guilty and felt he’d over charged them.

His helper was called over and given five one-dollar bills. “Please go up to 410 and give this money back to those three gentlemen.”

With the money in his pocket, the young man couldn’t figure out how to split five dollars three ways. Lightbulb time, he would give each of the men one dollar and keep two in his pocket. Nobody would know.

Now that meant that each of the boarders paid $9.00 each.

Listen Ted, three times nine is twenty-seven. Right?

Ted quickly agreed.

Ned looked at Ted and said, “add the two dollars that the busboy stole and that adds to twenty-nine.

Where did the other dollar go because they paid thirty dollars to start with?

Ted looked a little bewildered, “Yeah, where did it go?”

Ned stood up, collected the hundred dollars and started to walk away, “I don’t know where the other dollar went.” He had a big grin on his face.

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