On our walk yesterday morning Betty and I strolled along the downtown riverfront area. As we approached the Main Street bridge the overcast skies and sluggish river flow made the river surface reflective of the suspension arch and the railroad bridge behind, like the river was a metal mirror. The result looked like the jaws of a piranha ready to close on the railroad bridge.
Nevertheless, the intrepid Betty and I decided to brave crossing the Main Street bridge to the Franklinton side, and did so without being consumed.
We’ve all had to make decisions in circumstances where we’ve got no good options. We’re confronted by a true dilemma, weighing the frying pan versus the fire, and stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place, with no good way out. Philosophers might describe the situation as Morton’s Fork: a choice between two equally unpleasant alternatives.
As the article linked above explains, that name “comes from the tax-collecting practices of John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor under Henry VII. He reasoned that anyone who was living extravagantly was rich, and so could afford high taxes, whereas anyone who was living frugally had saved a lot, and so could afford high taxes.” In other words, you’ve got to pay the tax man, no matter how you decide to live your life. (Morton’s stated philosophy suggests that the views of tax collectors haven’t changed much since the days of Henry VII, incidentally.)
So what did the guy do? He jumped in the lake to avoid the bees and was eaten by piranha. It’s not clear whether the eating occurred before or after he drowned–which would have been another unpleasant tine on Morton’s fork.