[From Bruce Nevin (960417.1704 EDT)]
A colleague pointed me to
http://comedy.clari.net/rhf/jokes/89q2/apes.513.html for this. (Sounds like
some stories that you like to tell, Bill P.)
From the rec.humor.funny joke archives.
"De banaan wordt bespreekbaar," cultuurverandering in ambtelijk en politiek
Groningen. door Tom Pauka en Rein Zunderdorp (Nijgh en van Ditmar, 1988)
"The banana becomes open to discussion," cultural changes in administrative and
political Groningen (city in Netherlands) by Tom Pauka and Rein Zunderdorp
(Nijgh and van Ditmar, 1988)]
Take a cage with apes. In the cage we hang a banana on a string, and put
stairs under it. Before long an ape goes to the stairs towards the banana,
but as soon as it even touches the stairs, all apes are sprayed with water.
After a while the same ape or another one makes another attempt, with the
same result: all apes are sprayed. If later another ape tries to climb the
stairs, the others will try to prevent it.
Now we take one ape from the cage and put in a new one. The new ape sees the
banana, and wants to climb the stairs. To his horror all other apes attack
him. After another attempt he knows: if he wants to climb the stairs, he is
beaten up. Then we remove a second ape and replace it by another new one.
The newcomer goes to the stairs and gets beaten up. The previous new ape
takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.
A third old ape is replaced by a third new one. The new one makes it to the
stairs and get beaten up as well. Two of the apes who beat him, have no
idea why you may not climb the stairs. We replace the fourth old ape, and
the fifth, etc. until all apes which ones have been sprayed with water have
been replaced. Nevertheless, no ape ever tries to climb the stairs.
"But Sir, why not?"
"Because that's the way we do things here, lad."
Rob and Huub