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Rick Moen rick at
Wed Jan 7 11:00:42 PST 2015

On Wed, Jan 7, 2015 at 10:17 AM, jim <jim at> wrote:
> (top posting per Rick's basic message) My
> underlying motive is to allow others to participate/
> collaborate. About that, one of my favorite stories is [...]

Thanks for that.

Just for laughs, herewith, one of my favourite jokes about Getting
Things Done.  This is probably one of the oldest jokes in world
memory, alongside the one about the smuggler whom the border guards
could never catch.  I've seen the following joke re-cast as a
Nasruddin joke, as a peasants-of-Chelm joke, etc.

Once upon a time in China, there lived an Emperor who owned a majestic
white stallion, the finest beast in all his Kingdom. One night, a
thief tried to slip in and steal the horse, but was captured by the
palace guards and thrown into the dungeon.

The next morning, he was dragged before the Emperor's court. "How dare
you," bellowed the Emperor, "lay hand on my royal steed! Jailor, put
this thief to death!"

Immediately, the thief bowed deeply. "Your judgement is peerless and
wise, O Emperor," he calmly replied, "but my life is of little value.
I should offer you a gift before I depart. Your mount is quite a fine
one, but if your eminence would spare my life for just a year and a
day, I swear to you I can teach that horse to sing hymns!"

The court burst in to laughter at that, but the Emperor was intrigued.
After all, you didn't get to his high position by turning down freely
offered gifts, no matter how far-fetched they seem. To the surprise of
all, the Emperor quickly accepted the offer.

As they were leaving the chambers, the jailor whispered to the thief,
"You are a fool!"

"I am a fool?" replied the thief, smiling broadly. "Much can happen in
a year and a day. The King may die. The horse may die. I may die...
and maybe the horse will learn how to sing."

Just for additional laughs, I'll also offer one of my other
favourites, one especially funny to me given experience as a
The Mongoose Joke,

If anyone hasn't heard the ancient joke about the smuggler, feel welcome to ask.

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