One wintry, snowy evening, Schlesinger was driving home from some business in Winnipeg, when he spied his next door neighbour, Paula Brooks, sitting at a bus stop. He stopped and rolled down the window.
“Want a lift?” he asked her.
“Sure!” said Paula, when she saw who it was. “Boy, am I happy to see you! I’ve been waiting here for an hour. I think the bus must have been cancelled, or something.”
And so they chatted, as they drove along the increasingly empty roads in the countryside, as the snowstorm around them steadily grew worse.
Finally, they stopped, because visibility was so bad, it was dangerous to keep driving. Fortunately, they saw a small cabin a little up the road, so they decided to make their way to it and parked the car.
They cabin was dark. They knocked, but there was no answer, but the door was unlocked, so they went inside.
It was empty, apart from a cot next to one wall and several folded blankets next to another.
“You take the cot,” said Schlesinger to Paula, feeling very chivalrous. “I’ll lie on the floor over there.”
“Thanks,” said Paula gratefully, and as she lay down, Schlesinger fetched a blanket and covered her, then took one for himself and lay down on the floor nearby.
A few moments later, he heard her voice in the dark:
“Bernie, I’m cold.”
So Schlesinger got up, found another blanket, walked across the small room, and covered her with it.
He then walked back to his side, and crawled back under his blanket. He was just about to doze off, when he heard Paula’s voice again:
“Bernie, I am still cold.”
Schlesinger got up again, found another blanket, walked across to Paula’s cot, and covered her with it, as well.
He returns to his side and got under his blanket. He is nearly asleep when he heard Paula a third time:
“Bernie, I’m still cold.”
Schlesinger lay still, thinking. Finally, he spoke.
“Paula, we seem to have a problem,” he says. “The way I see it, we have two options. 1) I can get up and bring you another blanket, or 2) We can pretend that we are married.”
There was a brief pause, then Paula said:
“Ooohh… I think I’d like that…”