The other day I was eating in an Italian restaurant when I accidentally spilled some spaghetti sauce on my favourite white sweater. I wasn't too distressed, though, because Mr. Wong down on the High Street has been doing my laundry for years and I knew that he could take just about any stain and get it out like it'd never been there.

So I took the sweater down to Wong's Laundry and dropped it off; Mr. Wong said he'd probably be able to have it cleaned by Thursday. So on Thursday afternoon after work I stopped by Wong's again. Mr. Wong looked quite distressed when he saw me. He brought out the sweater and, apologizing profusely, explained that somehow this stain was beyond even his power to expunge. And sure enough, though fainter than before, there was still a distinct red stain on the sweater.

In an attempt to make up for his failure, Mr. Wong offered to send the sweater to his brother across town, who had been in the laundry business for even longer, and might have a clue as to the method of removal of this extraordinarily persistent stain. The elder Wong brother would rush it through at no extra charge and should have it looking as white and clean as new by Friday.

So on Friday I went back to Wong's to pick up my sweater, but when I arrived, Mr. Wong regretfully informed me that his brother, too, had failed to remove the red blotch.

"No charge," said Wong, "But you must take sweater elsewhere to clean.

Two Wongs cannot make white."

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