Paradox of Distribution
One fine day Curly tried to share a wonderful windfall with his two friends. They were willing (indeed, eager) to make the most of it, but somehow the deal got lost in all the shuffle.
It all started when Curly met a wealthy philanthropist. This worthy told Curly, “My boy, I shall give you six shiny pennies!”
Curly said, “For me?”
“And your two friends,” the philanthropist replied. “You must share!”
Curly said glumly, “All right, we’ll share.”
The philanthropist added, “And first you must first me how you plan to share!”
“Aww, that’s easy!” said Curly. “We’ll figger out some kinda deal!” And off he went to inform his buddies. Alas, when he met them, the result was not what he expected.
Larry said, “So we get six cents if we can agree on shares?”
Curly said, “Right! So let’s divvy up the loot even-steven; two cents each! Great, huh?”
But Moe and Larry glanced at each other and shook their heads. To Curly’s consternation, Moe said, “Nah. Me and my pal Larry here plan to split it three cents each.”
Curly counted on his fingers, then objected, “But that leaves me broke!”
“We outvote you,” Larry said. Then he winked at Curly and said, “Unless... of course...”.
Curly picked up the hint and said, “Hey Larry, how’d you like to have four cents?”
“I’d love to,” said Larry. “So between us it’ll be four cents for me, two cents for you...”
“... and nothing for that bum over there,” Curly agreed.
Moe yelled, “Now wait a minute!”
“Unless... of course...” Curly said, winking at Moe.
Moe got the hint. “Hey Curly, ya want four cents?”
“Soitenly!” said Curly. “So I get four, you get two...”
“... and Larry gets diddly-squat,” Moe agreed.
Larry cried, “Hey!”
“Unless... of course...” Moe said, winking at Larry.
Larry sighed. Then he said, “Hey Moe, ya want four cents?”
Round and round it goes!