The Roasting Pan

If necessity is the mother of invention, then routine is the crazy uncle no one talks about at parties.  Much of our behavior is influenced by habit, instead of critical thought, more often than you might expect. Sometimes it takes fresh eyes to see something that should be blatantly obvious — for a real-world example, check out this piece on

One day a little girl was watching her mother prepare a roast beef for that evening’s dinner.  She cut off  the ends, wrapped it in string, seasoned it and set it in the great roasting  pan.

I know it’s a turkey, not a roast… just go with it.

The little girl asked her mom why she cut off the ends of the roast.  Mom replied, after some thought, that she learned how to prepare a roast by watching her own mother, and this was the way that she had always done  it.

That night grandma came to dinner, so the little girl went to her and asked why she had cut the end off of the roast before cooking.  After some thought grandma replied, with a shrug of the shoulders, that it was the way her mother had done it.

The girl’s great-grandmother was quite old and in a nursing home.  A few weeks after the dinner, the little girl went with  her mother and grandmother to see her, and again she asked the question.  Great-grandma looked at them a bit annoyed and said, “So it would fit in the pan, of course.”

Reprinted, with some liberties, from JokeBuddha: