On the Dangers of Having Options

A horse is placed in a field between two pails of oats. He stands there reviewing and contemplating his options, is paralyzed by indecision, and starves rather than eats.

The horse’s owner comes upon the horse. He stands there reviewing and contemplating whether the horse is sleeping, in a coma, or dead, is paralyzed by indecision, and eventually starves to death.

The son of the horse’s owner finds his father and the horse in the field. He stands there reviewing and contemplating his options, is paralyzed by indecision over whether he should use his left or right hand to nudge his father’s shoulder to tell if he is sleeping, drunk or dead, and dies from insulin shock.

A vulture flying overhead spies the two dead man and their horse and flies down to the field. He stands there reviewing and contemplating which carcass he should eat first, becomes paralyzed with indecision, and also starves rather than eats.

Another vulture flies down into the field. He stands there knowing he will eat the horse first, but when reviewing and contemplating which eyeball to start with, he is paralyzed with indecision and also starves to death.

A third vulture flies into the field. He stands there reviewing and contemplating where exactly the basis for moral action comes from in the absence of a belief in a god or higher power, is paralyzed by indecision, and also starves to death.

A wild dog comes upon the field. He stands there convinced that he will eat one of the vultures first, but, when reviewing and contemplating which vulture to start with, he is paralyzed by indecision, and starves rather than eats.

A man passing by on the nearby road stops his motorcycle. As he stands their reviewing and contemplating this scene of carnage, he becomes paralyzed with indecision trying to decide whether there has been some kind of toxic gas release or if it was some variant of bubonic plague, and he also starves to death.

Another man on the road, also riding a motorcycle, comes upon the dead man and his motorcycle. He becomes paralyzed with indecision while reviewing and contemplating who has the nicer motorcycle. Before he can starve to death, he is hit by a garbage truck.

The driver of the garbage truck gets out and becomes paralyzed with indecision when reviewing and contemplating his options: a) bury the corpse of the motorcyclist he has just killed in the woods, b) bury both the corpse and the motorcycle of the motorcyclist he has just killed in the woods, but leave the other dead motorcyclist and his motorcycle on the road, because he really had nothing to do with that, c) bury both corpses and both motorcycles in the woods; d) attempt to crush both the corpses and the motorcycles in his trash truck; e) finally act on his secret “necrophilia-curious” nature and bugger the corpses of both motorcyclists before disposing of them via some method to be determined. He also starves to death.

In a very similar field, roughly 600 miles away, a minister begins to set up tents for a Church revival. He stands there looking in his toolbox reviewing and contemplating his options, becomes paralyzed with indecision over which hammer to use, and starves to death.

His wife, while bringing pies to the tent from the car, suddenly realizes she is thirsty. She stands there reviewing and contemplating whether she should drink water straight from the bottle she is holding or go back to the car and pour it into a cup, is paralyzed with indecision, and dies of thirst.

And in a nearby prison, an inmate is given only a small, stale piece of bread for dinner and savors every bite.

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