Four men walk into a bar with only two beers. What happens next?

Four men walk into a bar with only two beers. What happens next?

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Four men who live in a town called Geria walk into a bar.They are all friends and are part of club called “The Real Sector”. They want to drink the only beer in town. An awesome beer called loans. This beer is not just awesome because it tastes good, but it also has some medicinal effects. It makes people stronger, boosts their immune systems, and makes them more likely to survive. Everybody loves this beer.

The four men walk into the bar and meet the bartender. A guy people know only by his nickname, Mr. Bank. No one knows his real name but there are rumours. Bank is an attractive man with a beard that looks like it was transplanted directly from Pete Edochie’s face. Bank also looks very rich and wears fancy suits. Although sometimes the suits are a bit too tight but that’s neither here nor there. Still, everyone kind of agrees that Mr. Bank is rich although they are not quite sure how given that he’s only a bartender.

The four men walk up to the bartender and say, “Mr. Bank, give us four beers please”. Mr. Bank looks at them causally and says, “Ah, you guys are back again? Well I hate to be the harbinger of bad news but there are only two beers left.”“Harbinger? Why can’t you just speak English? Please give us four beers. NOW!” “Ha. I’m sorry but honestly, there are only two beers left. There’s nothing I can do”.

The men are furious. There are four of them and they can’t share only two beers. To get the full medicinal effect of the beer you must drink a whole bottle. They haven’t had any beer in a while and are all beginning to feel a bit weird. They strategize and come with a plan to take to the bartender.

“Mr. Bank. Ok look, we are sorry for talking to you anyhow. We were just playing. Please no vex. Give us four beers. In fact, we will even pay you more than what we normally pay”.They beg Mr. Bank continuously, but his response is the same each time, “There are only two beers left”.

One of the men bursts out in a fit of anger. “Who do you think you are? Is it because I am trying to buy beer? Beer that I will pay for with my own money!  In fact, I’m calling the police.” The man picks up his phone and calls someone. “You will soon see something. Continue hoarding beer. You will see.” Mr. Bank is unmoved.

A couple of minutes later the police boss walks in. Most of the town’s people know him as a nice guy and they love him, mostly because he gives you free beer if you visit him and ask nicely. The bartenders don’t like him that much though and they secretly call him the emperor, but no one is sure why.

“Mr. Bank. How are you? Do you know why I am here? Good. Now give these men the four beers and let me be on my way”. Mr. Bank replies, “I’m sorry sir but I really have only two beers left”. “What do you mean? Can’t you see how sick these men look? If they don’t drink the beer they may die. I don’t want people dying on my watch. Give them the four beers.” “I understand sir, but there are really only two beers left. There’s nothing I can do”.


Now the police boss is furious. He used to be a bartender, so he knows the tricks these bartenders play. “Look, Mr. Bank, I know you have four beers. You always have fours beers. What happened to the first two if you only have two left?”


Mr. Bank responds, “The chief came and bought two beers earlier on. That’s why I only have two beers left.”Everyone knows the chief of Geria drinks a lot of beer. A lot.


“Wow. My God!” goes the police chief. “We are going to have to find a way to give these men the four beers they deserve. I know you can do it. These men can’t die on my watch”. The police boss goes and consults with his people and comes back to Mr. Bank and says, “For every beer you sell I will personally give you 10 percent extra money”. “Nice, but there are still only two beers”. “OK, if you don’t sell four beers to these men, I will seize all your tips.” “Ah emperor, but it’s not my fault. I don’t make beer and there are only two beers left. The chief drank two. There is nothing I can do even if you seize my tips”.

The police chief is still not convinced. “Oh, are you still playing games? OK if you don’t sell these men four beers, I will stop you from selling to the chief.”Mr. Bank knows the chief is his most reliable customer and always pays on time, and he will lose money if he can’t sell to the chief. “It doesn’t matter. I don’t make beer. If the chief buys two beers from the factory there will still be only two beers left.Better tell the chief to stop drinking beer if you want these men to have four beers next time. And since you want to go there, do you want me to tell how you sent your friend STAB to collect beer from me by force?”

An awkward silence ensues.

A bystander who had been watching the stand-off shouts “You know, you can always try to make more beer or maybe even import some beer!” The police chief shoots the bystander dead on the spot.


Nonso Obikili

Dr. Obikili is chief economist at Business Day.


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