A humble office clerk called Norman boasted to his boss that he knew everyone in the world who was worth knowing. Celebrities, royalty, politicians: he claimed to be personal friends with each and every one.
Needless to say his boss didn't believe him, so Norman offered to introduce him to one of his celebrity friends.
'Would you believe me if I took you to Arnold Schwarzenegger's house?' asked Norman.
'Maybe,' replied the boss.
So they drove off to Schwarzenegger's mansion, and Arnie came to the door to greet them. 'Hey, Norman, my friend, how are you doin'?'
They stayed for lunch and a chat and afterward Norman turned to his boss and said: 'Now are you convinced?'
'You just got lucky,' sneered the boss. 'Arnie's a friendly guy.'
'How about if I introduced you to Madonna? Then would you believe that I know everybody?'
So they traveled to London where Norman took his boss to Madonna's house.
'Norman, great to see you again!' said Madonna warmly. 'Who's your friend?'
'This is my boss,' said Norman.
'Come in, both of you. Any friend of Norman is a friend of mine!'
Two drinks later they left. 'Now do you believe me?' asked Norman.
'Not really,' said the boss churlishly. 'I bet you tipped her off in advance and paid her to pretend she knew you.'
Norman had one trump card still to play. 'How about if I showed you I was friends with the Pope?'
'Well,' conceded the boss, 'I have to say that would be pretty impressive. I guess if you could appear on the Vatican balcony with the Pope, I'd finally be convinced that you know everyone in the world worth knowing.'
So the pair traveled to Rome. The boss waited in St. Peter's Square while Norman went into the Vatican. A few minutes later, sure enough, Norman appeared on the Vatican balcony alongside the Pope.
After his public appearance, Norman rushed back down to the square to learn his boss's reaction, only to find that he had fainted.
'What happened?' asked Norman.
'I was fine,' said the boss groggily, 'until the man next to me said: "Who's that on the balcony with Norman?'"