Something I’ve had in mind since i was reminded on twitter a while ago!
Called ” X Marks The Spot” in The Giant Book of Puzzles by Selma and Jack Orleans.
A psychologist was working in a civilian capacity for one of the armed services during World War II. Bored with the work he was doing , he decided to have himself a bit of fun. He cut a stencil of a typical mess hall, and had copies run off. Taking one copy , he marked a number of X’s on it. Next to X he made a circle. In each circle he wrote a number. Then he prepared a memorandum explaining that each X represented a spot where fly paper had been hung from the ceiling of the mess hall. The number in the circle near the X was the number of flies which had been counted on the flypaper at the end of the week when the paper was replaced by fresh flypaper. The psychologist then “bucked” the memorandum to some higher echelon.
Nothing happened. The next Friday he marked up another copy of the imaginary mess hall diagram with his X’s , circles and numbers, prepared a new memorandum and sent it on its way. Again nothing happened. When after four weeks nothing had happened , he got tired of the whole business and gave it up. Two weeks later , he received a memorandum asking where the ” fly reports” “were for the preceding two weeks!”