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There was a man who prided himself on being exceedingly punctual. He followed a very precise routine every morning. His alarm went off at 6:30 AM. He rose briskly, shaved, showered, ate his breakfast, brushed his teeth, picked up his briefcase, got into his car, rode the ferry across to the downtown business area, got off the ferry, walked smartly to his building, marched to the elevator, rode to the seventeenth floor, hung up his coat, opened his briefcase, spread his papers out on his desk, and sat down in his chair at precisely 8:00 AM. Not 8:01 AM, not even 7:59. Always at 8:00 AM.

He followed this same routine without variation for eight years, until one morning his alarm did not go off, and he overslept fifteen minutes. When he did awake, he was panic-striken. He rushed through the shower, nicked himself when he shaved, gulped down his breakfast, only half-way brushed his teeth, grabbed up his briefcase, jumped into his car, sped to the ferry landing, jumped out of his car, and looked for the ferry.

There it was, out in the water a few feet from the dock. He said to himself, "I think that I can make it," and he ran down the...

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