At Fort Snuggly, Alaska, a U.S. army drill sergeant stormed into the barracks unannounced where 20 soldiers stood at attention fully dressed in camouflage fatigues in front of their beds at precisely 5 AM. The sergeant walked up and down the aisle, between ten soldiers on the right and left of him. He stared sternly in the eyes of each soldier to his right and then on the left, intimidating them. Then he looked intently at each soldier’s bed, which were all made up.
He shouted, “Now! I believe every soldier is as good as how well he makes up his bed! Your covers should be tight! So tight, in fact, that a coin should bounce when it hits the cover! Now, I want to know who really made their beds!” He pulled out a penny from his pocket, and shouted, “I have a penny here and if it doesn’t bounce on each of your beds, you will run an extra five miles this morning!”
The sergeant walked to the closest bed to the right of the door and stared at the first man. He held the penny over the middle of the bed and dropped it. The penny didn’t bounce, so the sergeant yelled, “You! Run five extra miles this morning!”
He made his way to all of the men in the platoon who failed to make up their beds accordingly. When he got to the last soldier, he took the penny and dropped it and it bounced.
“Well… well! We got a soldier who made his bed properly! Finally!” He turned and stared eye to eye at the soldier. “Let’s try a nickel!” he yelled. He put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a nickel, dropped it on the bed and it bounced.
He pulled out a dime. He dropped it and it bounced.
Then, he pulled out a quarter. He dropped it and it bounced.
Then, he pulled out a half dollar. The coin bounced too.
“Well, it looks like we got us a soldier who knows how to make his bed!” the sergeant said proudly. “All of the rest of you, start running now plus five extra miles!”
The soldier who was rather pleased with himself smiled at the sergeant, and said, “Sir!” Why don’t you take a dollar bill and see if it bounces too?”
That morning all of the soldiers in the platoon ran five extra miles.