President Bush was visiting a primary school and he visited one of the classes. They were in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings. The teacher asked the President if he would like to lead the discussion on the word “tragedy”.
So the illustrious leader asked the class for an example of a “tragedy”. One little boy stood up and offered:
“If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field and a tractor runs over him and kills him, that would be a tragedy”.
“No,” said Bush, “that would be an accident.”
A little girl raised her hand:
“If a school bus carrying 50 children drove over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a tragedy.”
“I’m afraid not,” explained the President. “That’s what we would call a great loss.”
The room went silent. No other children volunteered. Bush searched 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 raised his hand. In a quiet voice he said:
“If Air Force One carrying you and Mrs Bush was struck by a friendly fire missile and blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy.”
“Fantastic!” exclaimed Bush. “That’s right. And can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?”
“Well,” said the boy, “It has to be a tragedy, because it certainly wouldn’t be a great loss, and it probably wouldn’t be a fucking accident either.”