"Hi. I need you to deliver this list to the Shire homesteads."
"The Shire post is working again," I tell her. "You can just mail it."
"I'd really rather you delivered it. I'll pay 2 silver, and 88 coppers," she tells me.
A little-girl squeal escapes my lips. I slam my hand over my mouth, but the damage is done. Nobody has ever offered me this much cash for a single job. I've fought savage animals, killed bandits, buried dead bodies, and humiliated myself in public, and not once has anyone offered my more than 90 coppers. Now this lady is putting up more than thrice that just to carry a letter? I realize she's probably screwing me. I'll probably get there and find out the letterbox is guarded by cave troll riding a warg who is riding a dragon. But for this sort of dosh I can afford to take on something stupid.
She hands me the letter and sends me on my way. It's a long hike, but it's peanuts compared to some of the mail runs. I have to go to the homesteads just south of Mike Delving.
It turns out that the surprise twist is that ... there is no surprise twist. I take the letter. I come back. She pays me.
Maybe I've stumbled on some special non-crazy town. Maybe the town of Overhill is a sane place with reasonable jobs for decent pay. This is worth checking out.
Okay, let's check back with the bear guy and see what his story is.
Everard begins his tale, "I'd just killed a deer with my lucky sling stone when a bear grabbed it and dragged it off."
"Okay. So ... you want me to go and kill you another deer?"
"No! I don't care about the deer! I want my lucky stone back."
"Wouldn't the stone be on the ground near where the deer fell?"
"No. Like I said, the bear made off with it."
"So - and I'm just trying to get a picture of what I'm up against - the bear grabbed your deer. Maybe it put the deer under one arm or something? And then grabbed your stone off the ground using its opposable thumbs, put the stone in the pocket of its trousers, and went home?"
"Don't make up ridiculous stories!" he snaps at me.
"You started it."
"Look, I need my lucky sling stone to hunt."
I reach down and pick up a pebble near his foot, "There you are. That will be 90 coppers."
"No!" he says in a whiny voice, "I need my lucky sling stone. I can't hunt without it."
"So you're asking me to believe that you can kill a full grown deer by throwing a rock at it. But only one particular rock? Have you at least tried other rocks? I mean, just for laughs?"