A bartender is polishing glasses in the middle of the afternoon
when suddenly the door to his bar is flung open. He and his few customers at that hour watch as a man enters. Sweat is pouring down his cheeks and forehead; he is breathing heavily,
and he keeps looking back over his shoulder as if the devil were pursuing him. He staggers across the room, grabs onto the bar to keep himself from falling and gasps, "Quick! Gimme a triple!"
"A triple what?" asks the bartender.
"A triple anything! I don't know--whiskey!" the man croaks.
While the bartender is pouring the drink, the man pants for breath and shakes his head. All the customers stare at him, and murmur; his shirt is dirty, his suit coat is torn and there are smudges of dirt on his face. The bartender slides a large glass in front of him and the disheveled man drains it in ten seconds flat.
"What happened to you, pal?" the bartender inquires as everyone looks on.
"I sure--needed that drink. I had--a terrible experience--just before I came--in here!" the man manages to say.
"And what experience was that?" asks the bartender.
"I went into a bar down the street and ordered a triple," the man says in a strained voice. " I told the bartender I couldn't pay for my drink. So he threw me right out into the street!"