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John Kerry visits a primary school and sits in on one of the classes, which is in the middle of a discussion on words and their meaning. The teacher asks Mr. Kerry if he would like to lead the discussion of the word “tragedy.” So, the illustrious leader asks the class for an example of a “tragedy.”

One little boy stands up and offers: “If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field and a runaway tractor comes along and knocks him dead, that would be a tragedy.”

“That's wrong,” Kerry shouts. “That would be considered an accident.”

A little girl raises her hand: “If a school bus carrying 50 children drove over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a tragedy.”

“You are completely incorrect” shouts the Senator. “That would be what we would consider a great loss.”

The room goes silent. No other children volunteer. Kerry searches the room. “Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?”

Finally at the back of the room, little Johnny raises his hand. In a quiet voice he says: “If a plane carrying the Senator John Kerry were struck by a missile and blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy.”

“Fantastic!” exclaims Kerry. “You are absolutely right. Can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?.”

“Well,” says little Johnny, “because it sure wouldn't be a great loss and it probably wouldn't be an accident!”

Updated: August 3, 2005
By: Ryan Prechel homepage
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