~Based on a true story. Names changed.~
Bill and Tim had agreed to meet for lunch. Bill arrived to the break room, with his carefully calorie portioned lunch in a neat Tupperware container. Tim was late, so Bill began to eat. Tim and Bill both worked as assistants to the company's top sales team. Danielle, the top earner of the team, had been exceptionally demanding that day. Bill had finished his lunch and was walking out of the lunch room just as Tim walked in. Bill was already exhausted from dealing with Danielle's most recent request, but knew Bill's feelings would be hurt if he didn't stay and eat lunch with him. Besides, Tim was in charge of billing and had allowed Bill to eat while "on the clock." If Erica, the sales team lead, knew about it, she wouldn't be very happy. But, Tim reasoned, they were both vastly underpaid for their work, so they deserved a free lunch. Bill agreed, he knew for a fact that Andrea supported her entire family on her salary while Bill was barely able to make rent and take care of his cats, but it did create an awkward social obligation.
Bill forced small talk and was amiable. Tim talked about how he wasn't eating carbs, which is why his sloppy joe "sandwich" was just a pile of saucy meat. Bill was feeling a little snarky when Tim started explaining that while he brought a pasta salad for lunch, he had decided not to eat it.
"Cool story," Bill said to Tim.
Tim was confused, as usual. "What?"
"I said, 'cool story.'"
"But I said, 'I brought a pasta salad but I don't want to eat it.'"
"I know," Bill said, "and I replied, 'Cool story.'"
"But..." Tim appeared to be distressed, "But that isn't really a cool story."
"Yes," Bill sighed. "That's the joke."
Tim didn't think it was funny at all, but smiled anyway. He didn't want to look dumb.