"For us let it be enough to know ourselves to be in the place where God wants us, and carry on our work, even though it be no more than the work of an ant, infinitesimally small, and with unforeseeable results."
-- Abbé Monchanin

Friday, March 23, 2007

"Capt'n Shrub"

Capt'n Shrub is the captain of a large cruise ship. He's been going around pushing passengers off the deck of his ship. Whenever one splashes into the ocean, he calls out, "Man overboard!" and throws a life preserver. He never stops the ship to pick up the overboard passenger. He does have a rope ladder hanging from the stern of the ship and if a passenger can reach it and climb aboard, he is given a large towel. Once he is dry, the towel is taken away and he is charged an extra fee for cleaning the towel.

Lately, the ship has been running low on life preservers, since so few are recovered. Capt'n Shrub has asked the board of directors of the cruise line to buy more life preservers. When they questioned the reason for the shortage of life preservers, Capt'n Shrub accused them of not caring for the passengers' safety. He suggested that they should be sued for negligence if they did not authorize the extra expenditure for additional life preservers.

Some members of the board tried to find out why so many passengers were falling overboard. When they learned that Capt'n Shrub was pushing them over the railing, they suggested that if Capt'n Shrub, himself, cared for the passengers' safety, he wouldn't be heaving them over the railing.

Capt'n Shrub responded that these board members were starting a mutiny and should be court martialed. Besides, the passengers came on board voluntarily and being thrown overboard was just a part of life on a ship.

Some of the board members are trying to find a way to stop Capt'n Shrub from continuing to throw passengers overboard. Others argue that as captain, he has absolute authority on the ship and the board should not try to tell him how to sail. After all, a ship can only have one captain.

Other board members are trying to stop more passengers from boarding the ship so that more lives will not be lost. Others oppose them, arguing that profits must be preserved by always sailing with a full ship.

About the only point where all board members agree is that passengers who are able to reboard the ship after the plunge should be given a cup of hot soup to go with the dry towel and they should not have to pay for cleaning the towel afterwards.

Meanwhile, the coast guard continues to fish corpses out of the ocean.

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