"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax-- Of cabbages--and kings-- And why the sea is boiling hot--And whether pigs have wings."
"I agree. For far too long the committee has neglected these pressing issues. I suggest we take them in order they come. First we should hear from Dave as to the state of progress his group has reached regarding shoes."
"Thank you Mike. Our committee, as you know, has been investigating the shoe question for a few weeks now. Our team has been dedicated to finding answers, and have really been putting in a lot of hard work and a lot of time to this."
"Any conclusions thus far?"
"None yet, Walrus. But we figure witha slight budgetary increase we'll be able to make some good headway before the end of this Financial quarter."
"Okay. Can you report any preliminary findings?"
"Well sure," Cindy piped up, "We've been able to come up with some findings. I think what Dave meant to say was that we'd not gotten as far as we'd've liked. Not that we hadn't gotten anywhere at all."
"I understand. And?"
"You wear them on your feet."
"Very good. Can we move on to the ship agenda?..."
"Before we get to that," Brad interjected, "Janet and I have another meeting at 3:35. Would it be okay if we were to step in and present our findings about flying pigs? Is that alright with you guys?"
"Yeah, yeah. I think that'll be fine."
"Yeah. No. You guys go ahead. You've got that meeting to go to."
"Thanks. Well, Janet, you want to start?"
"Sure. So as you know our group was investigating whether or not pigs have wings. We actually came to some interesting preliminary conclusions on this. You're all familiar with the phrase 'when pigs fly'. Our report shows that this phrase is not actually consistent with a realistic outlook for our projections both of reality, and more importantly, for our company."
"What course of action do you suggest?"
"Well, our team unanimously agreed that we would be unable to implement any effective solutions without a budgetary increase. Assumed that was given we would be able to further investigate how this view came up in our company, and perhaps locate it's source. Then, of course, we have to address why this view was held unchallenged for so long."
"Perhaps we should not be too hasty in turning this into a witch hunt. Many members of the senior advisory board, the CEO and myself have all been known to use the phrase 'when pigs fly' with regards to this company. I don't think that prosecuting past mistakes is necessarily the right course of action in this case."
The Walrus concurred. "Let's see if we can shift the focus of your project into a more proactive set of guidelines that focus on further prevention, instead of using your resources on trying to track down something whose origins might be anywhere within the company."
Of course the Walrus knew exactly where the phrase had come from. But it was in his interest, and his boss' interest, to keep this investigation from going too far.