Originally published on January 20, 2010
Well, this is the story of The Bridge of Tomey. In Borneo, there’s a bridge connecting two islands that’s constructed from bamboo lashed together with hemp. It’s been used for hundreds of years. Pedestrian traffic and vehicular traffic move in both directions, and the bridge is four miles long. And the bridge has a weight limit of 20 tons. So, one day, a truck pulls up to the bridge, and the officials stop him and say, we have to weigh you, because it looks like it’s going to be close to the weight limit. So, he drives onto the scale, and the truck is full of sedated pigs, pig iron, and dead chickens. With the driver in the truck, it weighs exactly 20 tons. So, the guy at the other end of the bridge gets the signal. He waves all the other traffic off the bridge. Clearly, if the weight limit’s 20 tons, they can’t allow anyone else on the bridge. So, now the bridge is empty, and this fellow is allowed to drive across. As he is crossing the bridge, a sparrow begins to follow alongside. And just when he’s a little beyond the halfway point in the bridge, the sparrow gets ready to land, and does land on the truck. What does the driver do, if anything, to keep the truck and the sedated pigs and the dead chickens from plunging into the abyss?
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