About a century or two ago, the Pope decided that all the Chinese had to leave Italy. Naturally, there was a big uproar from the Chinese community.

So the Pope made a deal. He would have a religious debate with a member of the Chinese community. If the Chinese win, they could stay.

If the Pope wins, the Chinese would leave. The Chinese realized they had no other choice. So they picked a middle-aged man named Ah Pek to represent them.

Ah Pek asked for one condition to be added to the debate. “To make it more interesting” he said, “neither side would be allowed to talk”.

The Pope agreed. The day of the great debate came.

Ah Pek and the Pope sat opposite each other for a full minute.

Then the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. Ah Pek looked back at him and raised one finger.

The Pope waved his fingers in a circle around his head. Ah Pek pointed to the ground at where he sat.

The Pope pulled out a loaf and a glass of wine. Ah Pek pulls out an apple.

The Pope stood up and said “I give up. This man is too good. The Chinese can stay.”

An hour later, the cardinals were all around the Pope asking him what happened ?

The Pope said “First I held up three fingers to represent the holy trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there was still one God common to both our religions.” “Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all around us.” He responded by pointing to the ground and showing that God was also right here with us.”

“I pulled out the wine and loaf to show that God absolves all sin. He showed me an apple to remind us of the original sin. He had an answer for everything. What could I do ?”

Meanwhile, the Chinese community had crowded around Ah Pek. “What happened ?” they asked. “Well” said Ah Pek “first he indicated to me that all Chinese had 3 days to get out of here. I waved my finger that not one of us was leaving. Then he pointed that this whole city would be cleared of Chinese. I showed him that we are staying right here.”

“Yes, and then ???” asked the crowd.

“I don’t know” said Ah Pek “he took out his lunch and I took out mine !!!”