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Tragedy [traj-i-dee], noun

During a campaign stop in Toledo, Ohio, Presidential hopeful, Joe Biden visited a third-grade classroom that had just begun discussing words and their meanings.

The young teacher asked Mr. Biden if he would like to lead the discussion on the word “Tragedy”, so he asked the class for an example of a “Tragedy”.

Kevin stood up and said, “ 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, sonny”, said Biden, “That would be an accident.”

A little girl in the second row raised her hand. Biden asked her to join him in front of the class. He placed his comforting hands on her shoulders and whispered in her ear, “Go ahead little one. Tell us what a tragedy is.”

She shuffled her feet and uncomfortably answered, “If a school bus carrying 50 children drove off a cliff, and everyone died, THAT would be a tragedy.”

“I’m afraid not”, explained Biden as he sniffed her hair. “That would be called a great loss”.

The room went silent. Biden searched the room. No other child volunteered out of fear of being wrong. “Isn’t there at least one kid who knows what a tragedy is?”

Finally, at the back of the room, Benjamin raised his hand. The teacher held her breath.

In a quiet voice he said, “If a plane carrying you was struck by a Friendly fire Missile and blown to smithereens that would be a tragedy.”

“Fantastic!” exclaimed Biden. “That’s right on! Now, can you tell me WHY that would be a tragedy?”

“Well,” said Benjamin, “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.”

The teacher left the room.

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