Steinberg and Fleisher, partners in the garment industry had just suffered through their worst season ever. Ten thousand madras sports coats were hanging on the rack unsold, and bankruptcy was looming closer.
Out of the blue, in walked a buyer from Australia. "I say there," he began, "you boys wouldn't have any madras sports coats, would you? I've been looking for them everywhere."
Steinberg said there MIGHT be a few left, and soon a deal was made whereby the ten thousand jackets would be shipped to Australia at a handsome profit.
"There is one thing though," said the Australian buyer. "For an order this large, I'll have to get a confirmation from my home office. I don't anticipate any problem, and unless I send you a telegram by this Friday, the deal goes through as planned."
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday passed slowly, with the partners nervously waiting to see if the Australian would change his mind. Friday morning went by without incident. Steinberg and Fleisher were closing up shop when, at ten minutes to five, there was a knock on the door: ..."Telegram!"
The partners froze. Trembling, Fleisher grabbed the telegram and opened it. Suddenly, his face lit up. "Steinberg, GREAT NEWS! Your sister died!"