A man enters a pet shop, seeking to purchase a parrot. He points
to a fine colorful bird and asks how much it costs.
When he is told it costs 70,000 zlotys, he whistles in amazement
and asks why it is so much. "Well, the bird is fluent in Italian and
French and can recite the periodic table." He points to another bird
and is told that it costs 90,000 zlotys because it speaks French and
German, can knit and can curse in Latin.
Finally the customer asks about a drab gray bird. "Ah," he is
told, "that one is 150,000."
"Why, what can it do?" he asks.
"Well," says the shopkeeper, "to tell you the truth, he doesn't
do anything, but the other birds call him Mr. Secretary."
- -- being told in Poland, 1987