A crowded bus on the point of leaving Manchester for Stockport was found by its conductress to have one too many standees. She therefore asked, “Who was the last person to get on the bus?” No one said a word. Declaring that the bus would not leave until the extra passenger was put off, she went and fetched the driver, who also asked, “All right, who was the last person to get on the bus?” Again there was a public silence. So the two went to find an inspector. He asked, “Who was the last person to get on the bus?” No one spoke. He then announced that he would fetch a policeman. While the conductress, driver, and inspector were away looking for a policeman, a little man came up to the bus stop and asked, “Is this the bus to Stockport?” Hearing that it was, he got on. A few minutes later the three returned accompanied by a policeman. He asked, “What seems to be the trouble? Who was the last person to get on the bus?” The little man said, “I was.” The policeman said, “All right, get off.” All the people on the bus burst into laughter. The conductress, thinking they were laughing at her, burst into tears and said she refused to make the trip to Stockport. The inspector then arranged for another conductress to take over. She, seeing the little man standing at the bus stop, said, “What are you doing there?” He said, “I’m waiting to go to Stockport.” She said, “Well, this is the bus to Stockport. Are you getting on or not?”

From SilenceJohn Cage – 1960