Are you good at guessing a person's work just by his or her appearance or manner? Some of you might be old enough to remember the old TV show What's My Line? where a panel of four people asked yes and no questions to try to determine the line (occupation) of contestants. My young mind always wondered what "the line" was of several of the panelists, namely Arlene Francis and Dorothy Kilgallen. All I knew about them was their participation on that game show.
In real life, it's an interesting challenge to try to figure out the line of work of people we see. Clothing is sometimes helpful, but not always. Remember when people wore surgical scrubs, not because of their work, but because scrubs were the rage in casual fashion? Our dentist dresses in a T-shirt and jeans in the office, and has done so for years. Frequently dress and other externals are totally irrelevant.
With hunting season just around the corner in some parts of the country, I'm posting a humor classic on determining a person's profession by how he or she hunts an elephant.
How to Tell a Person's Profession by the Method Used to Hunt an Elephant
Mathematicians hunt elephants by going to Africa, throwing out everything that is not an elephant and catching one of whatever is left. Experienced mathematicians will attempt to prove the existence of at least one unique elephant before proceeding to step one as a subordinate exercise.
Professors of mathematics will prove the existence of at least one unique elephant and then leave the detection and capture of an actual elephant as an exercise for their graduate students.
Theoretical mathematicians catch elephants in a cage by building a cage, going inside, closing the door and — defining the outside as inside.
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