Joe, a train conductor, was driving his train when he fell asleep at the controls. The train suffered a terrible crash and only those in the front of the train survived. Joe was put on trial for the negligent homicide of nearly a hundred people. He was found guilty and sentenced to death by the electric chair.
When asked what he’d like for his last meal, he replied simply with “A banana, if you will.” The prison guard shrugged, got a banana, and gave it to the poor man. Joe ate the banana in regular fashion and braced himself for death. He was seated on the chair, fastened in, and was ready for what was about to happen.
However, after the electricity was activated, nothing happened. The guard was astonished. Not knowing what to do, he simply let Joe go.
A few days later, Joe was back to work conducting trains. Shortly after his return, he managed to derail yet another train, again killing nearly a hundred people but surviving the crash. As before, he was charged and found guilty of multiple negligent homicides. Again, he was sentenced to death by electric chair.
It was the same prison guard as before. He was surprised to see Joe again but held his tongue, for the man was about to die and it would be rude to question him. “What would you like for your last meal, sir?” Joe respond as he did last time: “A banana, if you will.” The prison guard shrugged, got a banana, and gave it to the poor man. Joe ate the banana in regular fashion and again braced himself for death. He was seated on the chair, fastened in, and was ready for what was about to happen.
The electricity was activated and Joe was prepared. But, as before, he was unhurt. The prison guard checked for any malfunctions but found nothing, not believing the entire situation was possible. Now even more incredulous than before, and not knowing what to do, the guard let him go.
Joe was, against all odds, alive and was incredibly still allowed to continue his job as a train conductor even though he was responsible for the deaths of almost two hundred people.
He was thankful to be allowed to continue his job but also scared. He would try to drive more carefully from now on. However, this effort didn’t help much, as the very next train he was conducting, he managed to somehow crash. He was the only survivor of the train, which again contained over a hundred people. He was again charged, and again found responsible for the deaths of over a hundred people. He was sentenced to death by electric chair.
The prison guard was the same, the meal was the same, the procedure was the same. After giving Joe the banana, the guard was silent. He couldn’t bring himself to say anything, all he could do was prepare the chair.
Joe sat in the chair, expecting death. The guard activated it and, again, Joe was unscathed. The prison guard couldn’t contain himself. He simply had to ask, “Sir, how did you manage to crash a train 3 times? And how did you survive the chair 3 times? Did the banana have something to do with it?”
Joe paused for a moment. Then he replied: “No, I suppose I’m just a terrible conductor.”