Originally created 04/21/00

Capitalism influences fairness



If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.

-- Will Rogers

I see the boys at Atlanta's Emory University are up to monkey business.

Scientists at the school's Yerkes Regional Primate Center decided to see just how strong the trait of sharing is, so they concocted several exercises. One involved a device containing apple slices that a single monkey could not manipulate without help.

The monkey quickly enlisted other monkeys for aid, and when the slices were obtained, offered his helpers a share of the meal.

Researchers are hoping to find some insight into the evolution of human cooperation. (Good luck!)

In the process, scientists also found that once a monkey had been rewarded for helping, he is more likely to want to help again, which I guess we could call Darwin's Theory of Capitalism.

* * * *

The Uptown Kiwanis Club invited me to lunch Tuesday at the Partridge Inn. It was good.

Let me repay them by announcing that their annual Vidalia onion sale is just about here. If you know a member, buy some onions. (And if you don't, call me for a recommendation.)

* * * *

AT THE BEEP ... I don't like smart-aleck answering machines, but if I did, they might say:

"Hi. I am probably home, I'm just avoiding someone I don't like. Leave me a message, and if I don't call back, it's you."

Or, "Hi! John's answering machine is broken. This is his refrigerator. Please speak very slowly, and I'll stick your message to myself with one of these magnets."

* * * *

TODAY'S JOKE: A man was walking along a California beach when he came across what looked like a magic lamp buried in the sand. He picked it up, brushed it off and -- "Poof!" -- a genie appeared.

"You may have anything you wish," the genie said gratefully.

The man stroked his chin, thought for a moment, then said, "Tell you what. I've always wanted to go to Hawaii, but I'm deathly afraid of flying and I get very seasick in boats. Could you build a bridge to Hawaii, so I can drive there whenever I want?"

The genie laughed. "I'm afraid that's impossible! Think of the logistics. How would the supports ever reach the bottom of the Pacific? Think of the concrete and steel! Your request is outlandish. Listen, take a little more time and make another wish. I'm sure we can get you what you want."

After a second period of contemplation, the man said, "Well, I have been married four times. My wives always said that I was insensitive to their needs. So I wish that I could understand women.

"I want to know how they feel and what they're thinking. I want to know why they cry and how to make them truly happy.

"That, Mr. Genie, is my one and only wish."

The genie stared at him a second, then answered, "Did you want that bridge two lanes or four?"

Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 107.