The Giraffe Problem
Barry Pain (1864-1928) was an English journalist, poet, and writer, best known as a writer of parody and lightly humorous stories. The Giraffe Problem tells the story of an evening at the Problem Club, a secret society of gentlemen in London who meet once a month in a private room above a restaurant, where one of the waiters is the admirable Leonard. Every month Leonard sets the members a problem or challenge. The one who is able to complete the feat successfully wins that month's share of the membership fees. In this tale, Leonard's challenge involves inducing an unwitting woman spontaneously to utter the words: "You ought to have been a giraffe". Which of the gentlemen will be able to do this...and in what circumstances?