Thursday, October 29, 2009

There's this guy, see...

There's this guy with a car that acts kind of funny. Every once in awhile, the car suddenly slows down by a couple miles an hour for a few seconds, then comes back up to speed.  Not a really big deal but it's annoying. His brother-in-law says the problem is the flibberty-jibbet, but "no worries, its normal and can't hurt anything." Great Uncle Joe agrees, but the story about his 2nd cousin's car with the faulty flibberty-jibbet takes about 3 hours and never really comes to any detectable point.

The guy figures he ought to have it checked out anyway, so he takes the car to a shop. After looking it over thoroughly (which takes an hour), the mechanic says "That's no flibberty-jibbet, you've got a genuine problem in the gobsmacker. Its going to cost a bundle to fix that." Well the guy doesn't really want to part with a bundle; he's expanding his business and can't afford it. The mechanic says that rather than fix the car, if he just drives a lot slower the gobsmacker will take a long time to fail and he might be OK. But the guy doesn't want to drive slower; he'd see fewer customers and make less money.

So the guy takes the car to another mechanic. The second mechanic pokes around for hour and half under the car then tells him the same thing as the first mechanic. But this mechanic adds: "You want to get that thing fixed. Gobsmacker goes bad at high speed your car will come to a dead stop in about 20 feet - no matter how fast you were going. It's an ugly accident."  The second opinion didn't seem to work out, so the guy takes the car to another, then another, and another shop. They all say the same thing. By the end of the week, ninety-nine shops give the car a thorough look-over and tell him the gobsmacker's bad.

At the 100th shop he says "Look, here's a hundred bucks. My brother-in-law and Great Uncle Joe told me the flibberty-jibbet's bad, but all the other shops say it's the gobsmacker. What do you think?" The 100th shop mechanic looks under the hood for a few minutes and says, "Sure looks like a flibberty-jibbet to me." Then pockets the $100.

Satisfied that he'd finally gotten the right answer, the guy drives his car home. Since it's just the the flibberty-jibbet he's got nothing to worry about. Occasionally, he drops by one of the other shops to show them the car's still working and give them a piece of his mind about how stupid they are.

Five weeks later doing 70 miles an hour down the turnpike, the gobsmacker fails. The car stops, rolls, is slammed into by a truck that jack-knifes and 27 people are killed in ensuing 42-car pileup.

Moral of the story - if you can't tell your flibberty-jibbet from your gobsmacker, then listen to the 99 out of 100 climate scientists who can.

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