Sunday, February 05, 2006

The parable of the two guys on the train track

So these two guys are standing around on a train track when they hear a train in the distance. Guy one says, "Uh-oh, my foot is caught in between the rail and the ground. I should get it out, in case that train is on this track. Can you help me?"

Guy two: You know, We've been standing on railways for years now, and historically, We've always gotten out of the way before the train came. I think I'm going to sit down.

Guy one: Sit down? You've got to help me with my foot."

Guy two: You know, last time I heard a train, it wasn't even on this track. I think I'm going to lie down.

Guy one: Yes, but I can see the train now. It is clearly coming for us.

Guy two: Look we aren't stupid people. When the train comes we'll find a way to free your foot and then get off the tracks.

Guy one: So why don't we get off the tracks now?

Guy two: I don't understand all this crying wolf. I'm sure we will get off the tracks before the train comes.

Guy one: I'm sure we will too. I am quite certain we will get off the tracks as soon as you help me free my foot.

Guy two: I don't need to try to free your foot, because every time we've been in this situation in the past, your foot has come free. I think I'm going to wedge my foot between the rail and the ground, too.

Guy one: What the hell are you doing? The last time I got my foot out from under the rail because you helped me pull. Now you are...what the hell are you doing?

Guy two: I'm trying to wedge my head between the rail and the ground. Don't worry, I'm not stupid, I'm sure I'll manage to pull it out before the train gets too close. You are always underestimating human ingenuity. If there were a real incentive to get off the railroad tracks, like a train barreling down on us, I'm sure we would find a way to get off the tracks. I think I'm going to superglue my tongue to the rail.

link via steve h.

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