Debating is a very popular activity in Great Britain. For the British, it is important to be able to speak well and to speak convincingly. As a result there are many debating clubs and societies in schools and universities to train people to debate well. Each year there is a competition to find the country’s best debater. One year the finalists were Steven Swan from England and Magnus MacDonald from Scotland. They were two very different characters, both in appearance and personality. Steven Swan was a short and very fat man. He weighed over 200 kilos and he was shaped like a ball. He was a very sociable man. Steven was always with friends and he never stopped talking. He spent a great amount of his time in expensive London restaurants debating with politicians and businessmen. They always paid the bills so Stephen ate enormous amounts of food.
Magnus MacDonald, on the other hand, was almost the complete opposite. He was tall and very, very thin. He looked like a pencil and he seemed to be just skin and bones. Magnus lived in a small Scottish town so he was quite unknown. He was a quiet man who spent most of his time reading books in the library. He never spoke unless it was necessary. “Never waste words” was one of his favourite sayings. On the day of the final a large crowd waited anxiously to see and hear the two finalists. They entered the debating room and stood looking at each other. This was the first time that they had met. Magnus was silent. Steven slowly looked at Magnus from head to toe and said,
“So you are Magnus. Looking at you, anybody would think that there was a famine in Scotland.”
The crowd laughed. Magnus waited until the laughter had stopped and replied coldly,
“Looking at you, anybody would think that you had caused it.”
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