The Yellow Shirt Problem
I was proud of my new yellow shirt, it was by a long way the best shirt I had ever owned, and I took every opportunity to walk around Happy Island showing it off, albeit there was nobody to show it off to as Alun was busy with his new Happy Island spin-off series The Adventures of Alun. I was therefore most surprised to be interrupted by a voice I didn’t recognise.
“Hello, is that Geoff?”
I turned round, to find a stranger, clearly a mainlander, staring at me.
“No,” I said. “I’m Jed.”
“Sorry, it’s the yellow shirt, I assumed you were Geoff.”
“No, I’m definitely Jed, I have been all my life, bar one weekend when I was Mildred,” (see the Mildred Problem).
“It’s just that you don’t see many yellow shirts, so when I saw yours I sort of assumed...”
“No, I’m pretty certain I’m Jed.”
“Geoff was going to wear the yellow shirt deliberately, you see, so I could spot him in a crowd.”
“Crowds,” I said, surprised, “We don’t get crowds on Happy Island, two’s a crowd here, you’re the first visitor we’ve had in years.”
“Happy Island!” the man said. “No wonder you’re not Geoff, I got off at the wrong island.”
He started walking away, then changed his mind and retraced his steps. “I really like your yellow shirt,” he said, “I’ve never seen one like it, where did you get it?”
I told him.
“Thanks. I must get one. They look so cool. And they’re really good for spotting people in crowds.”
“Yes, I can see that they’re only a problem on islands like this where there are no crowds.”
“It’s funny,” the man said. “When I met you I thought you were Geoff. But you’re not. Are you?”
“No,” I said, I’m Jed, and the entire conversation repeated itself.