Month: July 2004

A Tragedy…

President Bush visits a primary school classroom. They are in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings. The teacher asks the President 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 tractor runs him over and kills him, that would be a ‘tragedy’.”

“No,” says Bush, “that would be 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.’”

“I’m afraid not,” explains the President. “That’s what we would call a ‘great loss.’”

The room goes silent. No other children volunteered. Bush searches the room.”Isn’t there someone here who can give me an example of a ‘tragedy’?”

Finally at the back of the room a small boy raises his hand. In a quiet voice he says: “If Air Force One, carrying you, Mr. President, were struck by a ‘friendly fire’ missile and blown to smithereens, that would be a ‘tragedy.’”

“Fantastic!” exclaims Bush. “That’s right. And can you tell me why that would be a ‘tragedy’?”

“Well,” says the boy, “because it certainly wouldn’t be a ‘great loss’ and it probably wouldn’t be an ‘accident’ either.”