How Can You Think Outside of the Box When the Box Is Inside Your Head?

November 8, 2011 Alistair McHarg

"Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. However, the mice will switch all your street signs." Taz Mopula

One lovely, sunny afternoon, a traveling salesman was driving his shiny new Cadillac convertible down a quiet country road. Without warning, he was rudely wrenched away from his predictable, uninteresting thoughts by a flubadubbadub sound indicating his left front tire had gone flat.

The fellow pulled to the shoulder, stopped, and surveyed his situation. Beside him, an imposing wrought iron fence stood sentry before a sweeping, well-manicured lawn. At once annoyed and bemused, he observed the lawn to be studded with solitary individuals wearing white jumpsuits, calmly entertaining each other and themselves. His mystification ended when he saw a large sign that read, "Shady Acres Home For The Deranged".think-outise-box2

Careful to avoid getting dirt on his suit, he fetched the jack and spare and began the repair. First, he took off the hubcap and set it face down on the road. With the car jacked up high, he took off the lug nuts placing them carefully into the hubcap so they wouldn’t be lost. The residents of Shady Acres Home For The Deranged drifted over to the fence and watched his progress without comment, as one might watch a silent film.

The salesman stood up, dragged away the flat, and rolled the new tire into position. Just then, a truck came barreling down the road full tilt, nicking the upturned hubcap as it did, which caused all five lug nuts to soar high in the air before plunging into the depths of a small, idyllic frog pond on the other side of the road.

When the salesman realized what had happened he grew increasingly red, like an outdoor thermometer in summer, and let loose a string of impassioned expletives so salty they could have made a stevedore blush like a schoolgirl. Frustrated, defeated, and furious, he sat down on the grass, leaned against the fence, and fumed.

Then he heard a whisper behind him. "Hey mister," it began, "why don’t you just take one lug nut off the three other wheels and use them to put on the spare? It’s not an ideal way to drive, but if you take it easy it’s certainly good enough to get you to the nearest gas station, where they can fix it properly for you." The man was absolutely awestruck. He stood up, turned around, and looked into the eyes of a very pleasant, unassuming fellow wearing a white jumpsuit.

"Brilliant," he gushed, "brilliant! That’s exactly what I’ll do!" Then he became quiet and inquired, "It’s none of my business, but with that kind of brainpower, what on earth are you doing in this place?"

The inmate replied, "Hey buddy, I’m crazy, not stupid."

APA Reference
McHarg, A. (2011, November 8). How Can You Think Outside of the Box When the Box Is Inside Your Head?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Alistair McHarg

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