The nun Hwídah was eating lunch with her clan when a
senior monk approached, seeking her aid with a production issue.
Not wishing to disturb the others, the senior monk bent down
to whisper in Hwídah’s ear.
“Ah,” said Hwídah, rising from the table.
“The three most terrifying words.”
Immediately she departed with the senior monk.
A novice who witnessed this exchange happened upon
the senior monk that evening. The novice asked,
“What were those ‘three most terrifying words’?”
The senior monk replied, “Possible race condition.”
The novice thought a moment and said brightly,
“Tell Hwídah that those cannot be
the ‘three most terrifying words’,
for the words ‘Definite race condition’
would be even more terrifying!”
The senior monk laughed and continued on his way.
That night the novice fell into long, terrible nightmares
from which he was unable to wake. After what seemed like an
eternity he came to his senses, twisted up inside his own
Tossing off the mangled covers, the novice found himself
alone in the middle of a featureless desert.
An empty sedative bottle lay on the sand nearby.
Tied to it was a tightly-folded map of the whole world:
all its continents and its mountains and its many, many deserts.