The teacher asked the president if he would like to lead the discussion
on the word 'tragedy.' So our illustrious president 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 him over and kills him,
that would be a tragedy."
"No," said Obama, "that would be an accident."
A little girl raised her hand: "If a school bus carrying 50 children
drove off a cliff, killing everyone, that would be a tragedy."
"I'm afraid not," explained Obama. "That's what we would call great loss."
The room went silent. No other child volunteered. Obama searched the room.
"Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?"
Finally at the back of the room, Little Johnny raised his hand. The
teacher held her breath. In a quiet voice he said: "If the plane
carrying you and Mrs. Obama was
struck by a 'friendly fire' missile and blown to smithereens that would
be a tragedy."
"Fantastic!" exclaimed Obama. "That's right. And can you tell me why
that would be a tragedy?"
"Well," says Johnny, "It has to be a tragedy, because it sure as hell
wouldn't be a great loss... and you can bet your sweet ass it wouldn't
be an accident either!"