Parachute Paradigm

THE PARACHUTE PARADIGM:

You are one of two people on a malfunctioning airplane with only one parachute.

Pessimist: you refuse the parachute because you might die in the jump anyway.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Advertiser: you strip-tease while singing that what they need is a neon parachute with computer altimeter for only $39.99.

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

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

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

Philosophy: you ask how they know the parachute actually exists.

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

Comparative Literature: you read the parachute instructions in all four languages.

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

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

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

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

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

Republican: as you jump out with the parachute, you tell them to work hard and not expect handouts.

Democrat: you ask them for a dollar to buy scissors so you can cut the parachute into two equal pieces.

Libertarian: after reminding them of their constitutional right to have a parachute, you take it and jump out.

Ross Perot: you tell them not to worry, since it won’t take you long to learn how to fix a plane.

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

Association of Tobacco Growers: you explain very patiently that despite a number of remarkable coincidences, studies have shown no link whatsoever between airplane crashes and death.

National Rifle Association: you shoot them and take the parachute.

Police Bigot: you beat them unconscious with the parachute.

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

Objectivist: your only rational and moral choice is to take the parachute, as the free market will take care of the other person.

Branch Davidian (David Koresh): you get inside the parachute and refuse to come out.

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

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

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