“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.” - Oscar Wilde, The Nightingale and the Rose
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854–1900) was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London’s most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. Today he is remembered for his epigrams, his only novel (The Picture of Dorian Gray), his plays, and the circumstances of his imprisonment for 2 years under hard labour and early death. Upon release from prison he left for France and died destitute in Paris at the age of 46.
Ask the Right Question
Sean and Paddy are walking from religious Catholic service. Sean wonders whether it would be all right to smoke while praying. Paddy replies, “Why don’t you ask the Priest?”
So Sean goes up to the Priest and asks, “Priest, may I smoke while I pray?”
But the Priest says, “No, my son, you may not. That’s utter disrespect to our religion and God.”
Sean goes back to his friend and tells him what the good Priest told him. Paddy says, “I’m not surprised. You asked the wrong question. Let me try. “And so Paddy goes up to the Priest and asks, “Priest, may I pray while I smoke?” To which the Priest eagerly replies, “By all means, my son… by all means.”
Moral: The answer you get depends on the way you ask the question.