Parachute

You are one of two people on a malfunctioning airplane with only one parachute. How would you react?

  • Pessimist: you refuse the parachute because you might die on the jump anyway.
  • Optimist: you refuse the parachute because people have survived crashes just like this before.
  • Procrastinator: you play a game of Monopoly for the parachute.
  • Bureaucrat: you order them to conduct a feasibility study on parachute use in multi-engine aircraft under code red conditions.
  • Lawyer: you charge one parachute for helping them sue the airline.
  • Doctor: you tell them you need to run more tests, then take the parachute in order to make your next appointment.
  • Sales executive: you sell them the parachute 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 their luggage, wallet, and gold fillings.
  • Advertiser: you strip-tease while singing that what they need is a neon parachute with computer altimeter for only $39.99.
  • Engineer: you make them another parachute out of aisle curtains and dental floss.
  • Scientist: you give them the parachute and ask them 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 they know the parachute actually exists.
  • English major: you explicate simile and metaphor in the parachute instructions.
  • Comparative Literature: you read the parachute instructions in all four languages.
  • Computer Science: you design a machine capable of operating a parachute as well as a human being could.
  • Economics: you plot a demand curve by asking them, at regular intervals, how much they would pay for a parachute.
  • Psychoanalysis: you ask them what the shape of a parachute reminds them of.
  • Drama: you tie them down so they can watch you develop the character of a person stuck on a falling plane without a parachute.
  • Art: you hang the parachute on the wall and sign it.
  • Republican: as you jump out with the parachute, you tell them to work hard and not expect handouts.
  • Democrat: you ask them for a dollar to buy scissors so you can cut the parachute into two equal pieces.
  • Libertarian: after reminding them of their constitutional right to have a parachute, you take it and jump out.
  • National Rifle Association: you shoot them and take the parachute.
  • Police Bigot: you beat them unconscious with the parachute.
  • Environmentalist: you refuse to use the parachute unless it is biodegradable.
  • Objectivist: your only rational and moral choice is to take the parachute, as the free market will take care of the other person.
  • Branch Davidian (David Koresh): you get inside the parachute and refuse to come out.
  • Sports Fan: you start betting on how long it will take to crash.
  • Auto Mechanic: as long as you are looking at the plane engine, it works fine.
  • Ross Perot: you tell them 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.