An entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #35: Restricted Title 1.

"Mind passing me the salt & pepper please Rick?" Jean leaned on the table asking the man in black suit sitting opposite her.

"I got this Rick." James, another friend sitting with the two, interjected. He passed the condiments to Jean. "How's everyone day going, by the way?"

"Eh, it's been hard but I'm still surviving" Georgina, always the laconic, spoke.

"Poor girl," Rick said. "Georgina's hair is on fire this morning. Literally. Her boyfriend smoke a cigarette while she was applying hairspray."

Georgina's face turned white while the other three laughed.

"He should have helped me but instead he just stood there like an idiot!" Georgina cried out.

"C'mon folks, what happened in the past should be left in the past. How about you, Jean? Anything new?"

"You must have known this, but me and boyfriend finally broke up."

"Pete? That guy has such a plastic personality. I'd told you repeatedly from the start!" Rick chimed in.

"Now that I think back, I wish I'd have listened." Jean ruminated. "Take me, I'm such a people pleaser, but even I cannot please someone who thinks the world revolves around him, you know? When I texted him yesterday that we should break up, he didn't even reply! Just moved out of our house without saying a word! By the way, your foods are getting cold."

She pointed out that James' macaroni and Rick's turkey sandwich were virtually untouched during their conversation.

"So what are we planning to do after this? I heard that the magician duo Penn & Teller is making an appearance tonight as part of their country-wide tour." Rick asked.

"I already got tickets for all, but that was like, few hours from now. We got to find something to kill time between." James answered.

"I know! I saw the bookstore across the street from here had a sale on their Non-Fiction selections. Maybe we all should check it out." Georgina suggested.

"It's been a while since all of us came together, I wish that the other friend can make it..." Jean said.

The friends paid for the brunch and exit, heading to the bookstore across the street. However, as they were walking, a man from inside the restaurant called out:

"Hey 'you! One of you forgot your shoes!"


  1. Who forgot his/her shoes?
  2. How many evidences can you find that point to this conclusion?
  3. Who is the 'other friend' that Jean referred to? (I've found several accepted answers to this)
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Is Jean a man or a woman? $\endgroup$
    – Goose
    May 31, 2018 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ "should broke up" - Is the grammar error intentional? $\endgroup$
    – Sid
    May 31, 2018 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ No. It’s a grammar error $\endgroup$
    – Chess960
    May 31, 2018 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ @QuantumTwinkie ;) Jean is a woman for the purpose of confusion. $\endgroup$
    – Chess960
    May 31, 2018 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ @MinhTran Should the last word of the first line be 'her' then, or did you intentionally use both 'him' and 'her' when referring to Jean? $\endgroup$
    – hagfy
    May 31, 2018 at 18:02

1 Answer 1


I believe that the four characters:

are the members of the Beatles.


James is Sir Paul McCartney; James Paul McCartney is his birth name.
Jean is John Lennon; the name is etymologically related to John, and they sound similar if you pronounce Jean as the masculine French name.
Georgina is George Harrison; clear relation between the names.
Rick is Sir Richard Starkey, AKA Ringo Starr.
Other clues in the text include references to several albums, and other general references:

  • 'A Bunch of Rocks' (rock stars!);
  • 'pepper' (the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band);
  • Georgina, the laconic (among the Beatles, George was nicknamed 'the quiet one');
  • Georgina says the day has been hard (the album A Hard Day's Night);
  • Georgina's hair is on... (sounds like Harrison);
  • turned white (the album The Beatles (the White Album));
  • should have helped me (the album Help!);
  • what happened in the past should be left in the past (the album Let It Be);
  • Pete is Pete Best, the drummer before Ringo, who was forced to leave the group by the other members and their manager;
  • plastic personality (the album Rubber Soul);
  • such a people pleaser (the album Please Please Me);
  • revolves (the album Revolver);
  • James' macaroni and Rick's turkey (sounds like McCartney and Starkey, the surnames of the relevant Beatles);
  • magician duo Penn & Teller ... country-wide tour (the album Magical Mystery Tour);
  • had a sale on (the album Beatles For Sale);
and many more that I've probably missed...

To answer the questions:
Who forgot his/her shoes?

James forgot his shoes, in reference to the cover of the album Abbey Road. The four Beatles walk on the crosswalk, but Paul McCartney isn't wearing any shoes.

How many evidences can you find that point to this conclusion?
My evidence is listed above.

Who is the 'other friend' that Jean referred to?

Many people have been called the fifth Beatle, including Pete Best. Personally, I'm in favour of saying it was their manager Brian Epstein, but there is also George Martin, Stuart Sutcliffe, and Derek Taylor, among others.

  • $\begingroup$ It's correct, but I challenge you to find even more clues :) Hint: "plastic personality" is one of them. $\endgroup$
    – Chess960
    May 31, 2018 at 18:05
  • $\begingroup$ Added several more, including 'plastic personality'. Pretty sure I'm still missing some from towards the end, given the density that I've found in the other parts. $\endgroup$ May 31, 2018 at 18:27

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