A friend in Washington told me this last week:
The president, Larry Summers, a dirty hippie and the pope were all on Air Force One when it started to have engine trouble. The pilot opened the door of the cockpit and said with terror in his voice, “The plane is going down, so put on a parachute and jump! I’ll show you how.” The pilot grabbed a parachute from the pile, strapped it on, opened the plane’s door, and took the leap.
After his departure, the four people left were startled to notice there were only three parachutes left in the pile. The president humbly suggested that the other three take the parachutes but the others protest saying, “no, Mr President, the world needs you, you must take one of the parachutes.” After a few minutes of haggling, the president agrees and straps on his chute and jumped.
The remaining three look at each other for a moment at which point Larry Summers says,“there are other smart people, but no one in the world is as smart as I am. The world needs me as much as the President, so I must take one of these parachutes and save myself.” So he jumped, too.
The dirty hippie and the pope sit quietly for a moment and the pope says, “you must take the last parachute, my son, it is God’s will.”
The hippie smiles and replies, “oh don’t worry Your Eminence, we each have a parachute. The smartest man in the world just strapped on my backpack and jumped out of the airplane.”