Accountants and Engineers on a train

Three engineers and three accountants1 are traveling by train to a conference. At the station, the three accountants each buy tickets and watch as the three engineers buy only a single ticket. "How are three people going to travel on only one ticket?" asks an accountant. "Watch and you'll see," answers an engineer. They all board the train. The accountants take their respective seats but all three engineers cram into2 a restroom3 and close the door behind them. Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor4 comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the restroom door and says, "Ticket, please." The door opens just a crack5 and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes it and moves on. The accountants saw this and agreed it was quite a clever idea. So after the conference, the accountants decide to copy the engineers on the return trip and save some money (being clever with money, and all). When they get to the station they buy a single ticket for the return trip. To their astonishment6, the engineers don't buy a ticket at all. "How are you going to travel without a ticket?" says one perplexed7 accountant. "Watch and you'll see," answers an engineer. When they board the train the three accountants cram into a restroom and the three engineers cram into another one nearby8. The train departs. Shortly afterward, one of the engineers leaves his restroom and walks over to the restroom where the accountants are hiding. He knocks on the door and says, "Ticket, please."




  1. Accountant = someone whose job is to keep and check financial records
  2. To cram into = if people cram into a place, they fill it
  3. Restroom = a room with a toilet
  4. Conductor = someone whose job is to check tickets
  5. Just a crack = so that there is a very small space
  6. Astonishment = complete surprise
  7. Perplexed = confused and worried
  8. Nearby = not far away