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The Parachute Paradigm

As I was looking through my files, trying to decide what to post, I ran across something I thought most of my readers will not have seen how two people look at the one remaining parachute.

The Parachute Paradigm

You are one of two people on a malfunctioning airplane, and there's only one parachute. Here's how you would handle the situation if you were a member of one of the following professions or philosophical outlooks...

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

Optimist - you refuse the parachute because people have survived crashes like this before.

Procrastinator - you play a game of Monopoly - the winner gets the parachute.

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

Lawyer - you agree to handle a lawsuit against the airline for a fee of one parachute.

Doctor - you tell your fellow traveler that you need to run more tests, then take the parachute in order to make it to your next appointment.

Sales executive - you sell the parachute to your fellow traveler 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 your fellow traveler's luggage, wallet, and gold fillings.

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

Scientist - you give your fellow traveler the parachute and ask him 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.

Philosopher - you ask how one can know that the parachute actually exists.

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

Comparative Linguist - you read the parachute instructions in all four languages.

Computer Scientist - you design a machine capable of operating a parachute as well as a human being could.

Economist - you plot a demand curve by asking your fellow traveler, at regular intervals, how much he would pay for a parachute.

Psychoanalyst - you ask your fellow traveler what the shape of a parachute reminds him of.

Actor - you tie your fellow traveler down so they can watch you develop the character of a person stuck on a falling plane without a parachute, before trying to find a stunt man to jump out for you at the last possible moment.

Artist - you hang the parachute on the wall and sign it.

Republican - as you jump out with the parachute, you tell your fellow traveler to work hard and not expect handouts.

Democrat - you extract a dollar from your fellow traveler to buy scissors so you can cut the parachute into two equal pieces.

Libertarian - after reminding your fellow traveler of his constitutional right to have a parachute, you take it and jump out.

Ross Perot - you tell your fellow traveler 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.

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

Auto Mechanic - you immediately start to look at the plane engine since, as long as you are looking at it, it works fine.


The Modern Language Department plays went very well Saturday evening. I was particularly proud of my students in the French play. Their hard work was evident, and everyone seemed to enjoy our play. Below is a picture of the cast members and directors of the three plays. Most of those involved with the French play are in the top row.

Here's the cast of the French play. What a fun group!


"The gospel is about what God has done. ... The gospel rescues those who know they can't make it." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you!

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7 Comments on “The Parachute Paradigm”

  1. #1 Jessica
    on Feb 26th, 2008 at 6:51 am

    Nice one, Mr. Loach!
    I would definitely fall into the comparative linguist category…I’ve been doing that since I was a kid!

  2. #2 Eileen
    on Feb 26th, 2008 at 7:27 am

    I really enjoyed the plays! Thanks for all your hard work.

  3. #3 Vikki
    on Feb 26th, 2008 at 8:20 am

    You missed one!

    Al Gore – You know, I invented the parachute . . .

  4. #4 Kirsten
    on Feb 27th, 2008 at 12:18 am

    I definitely fall, no pun intended, into the English Major category! Funny thing is that English is to be my major this fall! YAY!!!!

  5. #5 Amanda
    on Feb 27th, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Yay for English Majors! ^_^ My dad is an engineer and I could definitely see him making a parachute out of curtains and floss…Or perhaps fixing the airplane and figuring out how to fly it.

    ivman adds:
    Amanda, if you haven’t seen an old post on my site (before I started posting everything to the blog) about engineers, you might see you dad in other contexts as well – http://ivman.com/engineers.html

  6. #6 NathanatBJU
    on Dec 15th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Hey, you missed another one… President Obama – “I’ve saved or created 300,000 parachutes with the stimulus package.”

  7. #7 Rob
    on Dec 15th, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    @NathanatBJU – There may be some people wanting to jump out of planes without parachutes when the libs are done with all the “hoax and chains” up there in DC….