The Guillotine

Three men are sentenced to death for various crimes against a mythical and oppressive state. One is a priest, another is a drunkard and the third is an engineer.

The first to face the executioner is the priest. When asked if he wanted to lie face down or face up on the guillotine, he said, "I'll lie face up! I have nothing to fear. The Lord is on my side!" So he lay on his back and faced the razor-sharp blade. When it was released, the blade fell half way and stopped. The executioner exclaimed, "This must be divine intervention. You are pardoned, and you may leave."

The next was the drunkard. When asked the same question, he chose to lie face up like the priest, saying, "I'm a drunk, not an idiot!" So he lay on his back too, facing the sharp blade as the sun glinted off its keen edge. Again, the blade fell only half way and stopped. The executioner exclaimed, "The Lord is generous today. You are pardoned, and you may also leave."

Finally, it was time for the engineer. He also chose to lie on his back. After all, it seemed that was the lucky thing to do that day. He lay on his back looking up at the heavy blade tensing against the rope. Just before the blade was let loose, he shouted, "Wait! I think I see the problem!"