Government Work

Itzik Cohen stopped at his local Jerusalem gas station and after filling his tank, he paid the bill and bought a soft drink. He stood by his car to drink his cola and watched a couple of men working along the roadside. One man would dig a hole two or three feet deep and then move on. The other man came along behind him and filled in the hole. While one was digging a new hole, the other was 25 feet behind filling in the hole. The men worked right past the guy with the soft drink and went on down the road.

"I can't stand this," said Itzik tossing the can into a trash container and heading down the road toward the men.

"Hold it, hold it," he said to the men. "Can you tell me what's going on here with all this digging and refilling?"

"We work for the Israeli government and we're just doing our job," one of the men said.

"But one of you is digging a hole and the other fills it up. You're not accomplishing anything. Aren't you wasting the taxpayers' money?"

"You don't understand," one of the men said, leaning on his shovel and wiping his brow.

"Normally there are three of us: me, Shmuel and Chaim. I dig the hole, Shmuel sticks in the tree and Chaim, here, puts the dirt back. Now just because Shmuel’s sick, that doesn't mean that me and Chaim can't work."

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