## Parables

Outrun a Tiger

Alice and Bob were walking in the woods when a snarling tiger jumped out in front of them.

Alice bent down and starting changing into running shoes.

“Why are you doing that?” asked Bob. “You can’t outrun a tiger.”

“I don’t have to out…” said Alice before the tiger sank its razor-sharp death teeth into the soft flesh around her jugular. It takes at least a minute to change shoes, and the tiger was only, oh, let’s say 20 meters away to begin with.

Then the tiger killed Bob, too. Not because it was hungry. Just because it lived for the moment when it saw the life go out of its victims’ eyes.

Moral: Tigers are nature’s perfect killing machine. By the time you see one, it’s already too late.

Looking For Keys

A drunk man was in the parking lot outside a bar, looking intently at the pavement under a streetlight. A woman came out of the bar, tottering back and forth some as she walked over to the man and asked, “Oh, did you lose your keys here?”

“I don’t know where I lost them. Probably over there by my car, I guess,” said the man.

“Then why are you looking under the streetlight?” asked the woman.

“Because there’s light here,” said the man.

The woman seemed to think this was ridiculous.

“Look,” said the man. “I suppose there’s about a five percent chance I lost my keys under this streetlight, but if I did lose them here, there’s a ninety percent chance I’ll find them. That makes four and a half percent chance that I’ll find my keys by looking here. On the other hand, there’s a thirty percent chance I lost them in a similarly-sized area around the vicinity of my car, but it’s so dark that even if they are there, there’s only a ten percent chance I’ll find them. If I search near my car I only have a three percent chance of success. Therefore I’m acting logically by looking under this streetlight, even though I don’t think this is where my keys are.”

“Oh, I um…” said the woman.

“Hey,” said the man. “Why don’t you just give me a ride? My place is only two miles away, and I would gladly pay you a fair price for your inconvenience. I can come back tomorrow and look some more when there’s light.”

“You’re weird,” said the woman. Then she shot pepper spray in the man’s eyes.

Moral: Everyone hates nerds.

Zen and the Teacup

A Westerner wanted to learn Zen, so he went to visit an old Zen master in a humble, secluded hut.

The Zen master, on hearing the man wanted to learn, invited his guest in for tea. The master filled the man’s cup all the way up, and the tea started pouring out over the brim and onto the table.

“Stop!” said the Westerner. “You’re overfilling it.”

The Zen master calmly replied, “Like this cup, you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

“This was a bad idea,” said the Westerner. “You’re crazy.” Then he went back home and tried to live his life as best as he could. He still had good times and bad times, but he was a little less likely to believe any given person had all the answers. Also, before he flew home he bought a samurai sword that looked really cool and authentic and stuff and once it even helped him get laid.

Moral: Just because you act super-calm while you’re doing something doesn’t make it wise.