night, a Delta twin-engine puddle jumper was flying somewhere above New Jersey.
There were five people on board: the pilot, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, the
Dali Lama, and a hippie. Suddenly, an illegal oxygen generator exploded loudly
in the luggage compartment, and the passenger cabin began to fill with smoke.
The cockpit door opened, and the pilot burst into the compartment.
"Gentlemen," he began, "I have good news and bad news. The bad
news is that we're about to crash in New Jersey. The good news is that there
are four parachutes, and I have one of them!" With that, the pilot threw
open the door and jumped from the plane.
Jordan was on his feet in a flash. "Gentlemen," he said, "I am
the world's greatest athlete. The world needs great athletes. I think the world's
greatest athlete should have a parachute!" With these words, he grabbed
one of the remaining parachutes, and hurtled through the door and into the night.
Gates rose and said, "Gentlemen, I am the world's smartest man. The world
needs smart men. I think the world's smartest man should have a parachute, too."
He grabbed one, and out he jumped. The Dali Lama and the hippie looked at one
another. Finally, the Dali Lama spoke. "My son," he said, "I
have lived a satisfying life and have known the bliss of True Enlightenment.
You have your life ahead of you; you take a parachute, and I will go down with
hippie smiled slowly and said, "Hey, don't worry, pop. The world's smartest
man just jumped out wearing my backpack."