The Parachute Paradigm

You are one of "two" people on a malfunctioning airplane with only one parachute. How would you react?
  1. Pessimist:   you refuse the parachute because you might die on the jump anyway.

  2. Optimist:   you refuse the parachute because people have survived crashes just like this before.

  3. Procrastinator:   you play a game of Monopoly for the parachute.

  4. Bureaucrat:   you order them to conduct a feasibility study on parachute use in multi-engine aircraft under code red conditions.

  5. Lawyer:   you charge one parachute for helping them sue the airline.

  6. Doctor:   you tell them you need to run more tests, then take the parachute in order to make your next appointment.

  7. Sales executive:   you sell them the parachute at top retail rates and get the names of their friends and relatives who might like one too.

  8. Internal Revenue Service:   you confiscate the parachute along with their luggage, wallet, and gold fillings.

  9. Engineer:   you make them another parachute out of aisle curtains and dental floss.

  10. Scientist:   you give them the parachute and ask them to send you a report on how well it worked.

  11. Mathematician:   you refuse to accept the parachute without proof that it will work in all cases.

  12. Philosopher:   you ask how they know the parachute actually exists.

  13. English major:   you explicate simile and metaphor in the parachute instructions.

  14. Computer Science:   you design a machine capable of operating a parachute as well as a human being could.

  15. Economics:   you plot a demand curve by asking them, at regular intervals, how much they would pay for a parachute.

  16. Psychoanalysis:   you ask them what the shape of a parachute reminds them of.

  17. Drama:   you tie them down so they can watch you develop the character of a person stuck on a falling plane without a parachute.

  18. Art:   you hang the parachute on the wall and sign it.

  19. Environmentalist:   you refuse to use the parachute unless it is biodegradable.

  20. Sports Fan:   you start betting on how long it will take to crash.

  21. Auto Mechanic:   as long as you are looking at the plane engine, it works fine.

  22. Surgeon General:   you issue a warning that skydiving can be hazardous to your health.

  23. Association of Tobacco Growers:   you explain very patiently that despite a number of remarkable coincidences, studies have shown that jumping out of a plane is NOT harmful to your health.

[ Author Unknown -- from 'Aiken Drum' ( ]

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