Security koan #2
[Apologies if anyone finds the stereotype of the 'wiley Irishman' to be offensive. This story exists in many different forms, in many different cultures.]
Paddy works at a construction site. Every night, he leaves his work, wheeling a wheelbarrow and a tarpaulin (canvas cloth covering the wheelbarrow) out past the security guard.
One night the security guard comes to him and says "Paddy, every night I see you wheel that wheelbarrow out of here, and I'm sure you must be stealing something. Every so often, I stop you, I lift up the tarpaulin, and I see nothing's in the wheelbarrow. Somehow you've figured out which nights I'm going to search you for stolen gear.
"Now, it's my last night on the job, I'm retiring tomorrow, and I don't feel I owe my old bosses anything, so I'm not going to tell on you - but for my own sanity, I've got to know!
"What are you stealing from the job-site?"
Paddy motions the guard close, and whispers in his ear.
"Wheelbarrows, and tarpaulins."