It was: "Have you ever done unexpected work totally different from your regular job? Surprise stuff."
"What do you mean?" I said.
"You know. Doing something that you weren't trained to do but was thrust upon you?" came the explanation.
"Still clueless," I said. "What did you do?"
"Where I used to live there was my regular newsagent and once I went in there and the guy was serving behind the till chatting away when he said he felt faint and rushed into the back room. "Could you take-over for a minute," he shouted. So I thought I've served in a shop before, and said, "All right," very casually, and took over for about half an hour. It was funny seeing people's shock as they came in. Made me laugh especially as I just made up prices on products that weren't marked."
"Was the newsagent all right?"
"He was then. Came back out and offered me a free Mars bar or something and a free paper. He collapsed about a week later and died in the shop," said my friend.
"Dark," I said.
"What about you?" he asked.
"Well, I have no musical skill with an instrument and yet I played on several occasions with the Halle Orchestra in Manchester."
"Really? Excellent. How so?"
"I think I'd done a guided tour for them or their guests and the percussionist, Dave Hext, asked me to play. But..."
"This is a double bluff thing in a way."
"He asked to me play football with them for their football team for a few months, 11-a-side and 5-a-side. They were short of team members as they were touring abroad or something,"
"So you played for the Halle Orchestra?"
"Yeah, when I tell people I played for the Orchestra, people say where did you play, I say centre-forward or wide right."
"Better story, but mine was more heroic. Guiding gets you into funny situations," he said.