Daily Archives: August 21, 2012


There’s a part I love in the film ‘My Cousin Vinny’.
Vinny is defending his cousin on a murder charge.
Vinny does something wrong and the judge sentences him to a night in jail for contempt of court.
On the way to jail, Vinny’s girlfriend asks him what he did wrong.
Vinny says “I just got a lesson in procedure is all.”
His girlfriend asks what he means.
Vinny says “When you need to clean the jet-nozzle on a carburettor, what’s the first thing you do?”
Vinny’s girlfriend knows a lot about cars.
So she says you have to take the carburettor off the car first.
Vinny says “That’s right. The first thing you do is you take the carburettor off the car.
Because if you didn’t take the carburettor off the car, if you just unscrewed the jet-nozzle while the carburettor was still attached to the car, the jet-nozzle might fall down the manifold. Then it might fall into the cylinder.
Then you would have to take the entire cylinder head off just so you can get back the little jet-nozzle you dropped, right?”
His girlfriend says right.
Vinny says “And you would’ve learned the hard way that the correct procedure is to take the carburettor off first.”
His girlfriend nods.
Vinny says “Well that’s what just happened in the courtroom. I learned the correct procedure the hard way.”
And he goes off to spend the night in jail.
I love that interchange because it very simply describes why we have a correct procedure.
Why we observe certain rules and protocol even though we think we don’t need to.
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