John Kerry visits a primary school and sits in on one of the classes,
which is in the middle of a discussion on words and their meaning.
The teacher asks Mr. Kerry if he would like to lead the discussion of
the word "tragedy."
So, the illustrious senator asks the class for an example of a "tragedy."
One little boy stands up and offers: "If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field and a runaway tractor comes along and knocks him dead, that would be a tragedy."
"That's wrong," Kerry shouts. "That would be considered an accident."
A little girl raises her hand: "If a school bus carrying 50 children
drove over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a tragedy."
"You are completely incorrect," shouts the senator. "That would be what
we would consider a great loss."
The room goes silent. No other children volunteer.
Kerry searches the room. "Isn't there someone here who can give me an
example of a tragedy?"
Finally, at the back of the room, a small boy raises his hand. In a quiet voice, he says, "If a plane carrying the Senator John Kerry were struck by a missile and blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy."
"Fantastic!" exclaims Kerry. "You are absolutely right. Can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?"
"Well," says the boy, "because it sure as hell wouldn't be a great loss, and it probably wouldn't be an accident!"