Simple Directions

Despite his low opinion of lieutenants, the sergeant kept a respectful tone as he taught us how to bail out of a plane in an emergency.

"Sirs, to open the hatch," he began, "turn this lever to the right, then pull that handle."

"What if we don’t follow that sequence?" a second lieutenant asked.

"Then, sir," said the sergeant patiently, "you hit the hatch handle with a crash axe."

"That’ll open the hatch?"

"No, sir. But it will keep your mind occupied until you crash."