A boy, one who is athletically very talented but not too bright, takes on a job as a stripe painter for the highway department. The department gives him bucket of paint and a brush and drives him out to the highway he’s supposed to paint. His first day on the job, he paints a stripe almost seven miles long. This is an utterly stunning feat, for no one previously had ever painted more than five miles in a day. The department was ecstatic. Apparently, this boy’s true calling was to paint roadways.
The excitement abated a little bit on the second day, when the boy painted only five miles of highway. But still, five miles is the best that anyone had ever done before him. But on the third day, the distance dropped to two miles, and on the fourth day, it fell to less than one mile.
The department managers were gravely concerned, especially after having been so excited on the first couple of days. So they had a driver go out to fetch the boy, to bring him back to the office to explain why his productivity had been so outstanding at first but had then declined so horribly.
The reason was easy to understand, the boy explained. Every day he painted, he kept getting farther and farther away from his paint bucket.
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