Authorities in Montana discovered that a hermit had been living in an old Forest Service cabin and they became concerned about his well being. They sent up a team of experts from different fields to analyze his living arrangements and to make sure that he was okay.
They included a psychologist to make sure that the man was mentally handling his isolation. They sent an engineer to ensure that the cabin is still structurally sound and safe. Finally, they added a professor from a theological seminary to see whether the man's spiritual needs were being fulfilled.
The team made its way up the treacherous terrain until they finally spotted the cabin. From the outside, it appeared all was well. The area was clean, smoke rose from the chimney, and the door was slightly ajar. Cautiously, they walked in.
Inside everything was neat and tidy. The only thing that stood out was that the stove was suspended 18 inches off of the floor by about a hundred wires
At first, the three experts were baffled. Then, with an "Aha!" the psychologist spoke. "This very clearly explains this man's desire to return to the womb. He has arranged the stove so that he can crawl underneath to, once again, feel the warmth of the mother."
"Nonsense!" exclaimed the engineer. "This serves a very clear and definite thermodynamic purpose. He has lifted the stove so as to reduce the zone which the heat has to permeate, allowing the cold air to remain within the cabin, locking the heat in place."
The theological professor stayed quiet a moment longer, but then he too spoke. "I hate to disappoint you both, but the placement of fire on raised altars has always been a significant emblem of the existence of faith and religion. This man has obviously created an altar for whatever faith he has clung to."
The three men argued so long and loudly that they didn't notice the hermit who came in and stood staring at them. Once they saw him, all demanded to know the significance of the placement of the stove.
The hermit stared at the three men as if they were from Mars. Then he spoke.
"Simple ... had to fix stove pipe ... plenty of wire ... not enough pipe!"