I heard a story once about an American train driver.
e choice of final meal and chose a single banana, oddly. His time came and he was placed into the chair, the room vacated and then the switch was thrown.
But... Nothing. No sparks, no burning, nothing. They checked the machine and it was working fine, it just seemed not to harm him. The state law meant that, legally, his sentence had been carried out and he was free to go. He walked away a free man, and actually got another job as a train driver.
Sadly, almost exactly the same thing happened again. This time his negligence killed two kids playing around on the tracks when again he'd fallen asleep and failed to stop the train in time. Hauled before the courts again, he got exactly the same sentence - the electric chair. He was asked again for his final meal, chose two bananas this time, and his sentence was carried out again.
And yet again, he didn't die. In fact, he was entirely unharmed. The state law remained the same, so he was let out again, where - somehow - he got another job with another train company. I guess it was the only job he was trained for (pardon the pun). Anyway, this time he did much better and worked hard to stay awake during his late shifts. But sure enough, eventually he slipped back in to old habits and this time killed five people - a family trying to free their dog stuck in the tracks.
Once again he faced a jury, once again they found him guilty and a judge sentenced him to the electric chair. This time he asked for 5 bananas, but the guard was wily - he has read about this man and how he always had bananas before his sentence was carried out, and so this time (with a grin, it's said) he brought the train driver 5 apples instead. The guilty man plead and begged for bananas, but the guard claimed it was an honest mistake but too late to change now.
The man was lead for a third time to the electric chair. His head was whetted, his arms strapped in, and the guard eyed him with something between wonder and fear. Finally the room was vacated and the switch thrown. Surely this time the machine would do its job? With the process finished, the guard ran back into the room, only to find the man still alive and looking entirely healthy. "I don't understand! I set the equipment up myself, I know I did it right, and I know it's all working! And I didn't let you have any bananas! Please, you have to tell me - why are you still alive?"
"It's quite simple" replied the train driver. "It has nothing to do with the bananas - I'm just a really, really bad conductor." Read More