Competition LO18172

Scott Simmerman (
Fri, 22 May 1998 20:30:13 -0400

Replying to LO18136 --

I'll arbitrarily link this to Doc's comments on danger and on the theme of
competition -- which has been MOST interesting.

Judy Tillman sent me this today, source unknown (apparently from Steve
Cook). But I thought to copy it first into my Jokes file, then into my
Teams file and now, you got it:


Start with a cage containing five apes. In the cage, hang a banana on a
string and put stairs under it. Before long, an ape will go to the stairs
and start to climb towards the Banana. As soon as he touches the stairs,
spray all of the apes with cold water.

After a while, another ape makes an attempt with the same result - all the
apes are sprayed with cold water.

Turn off the cold water.

If, later, another ape tries to climb the stairs, the other apes will try
to prevent it even though no water sprays them.

Now, remove one ape from the cage and replace it with a new one.

The New ape sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs.

To his horror, all of the other apes attack him.

After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the
stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five apes and replace it with a new

The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked.

The previous Newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.

Again, replace a third original ape with a new one. The new one makes it
to the stairs and is attacked as well.

Two of the four apes that beat him have no idea why they were not
permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the
beating of the newest ape.

After replacing the fourth and fifth original apes, all the apes which
have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced.

Nevertheless, no ape ever again approaches the stairs. Why not?

"Because that's the way it's always been around here."

That's how company policy begins.

Does this sound somewhat familiar?


For the FUN of It!

Scott Simmerman

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