In every railway depot, there is a tome called The "General Appendix", large in both physical size and content. There were always a couple of drivers who were commonly known as "one hundred percenters" because they followed the General Appendix religiously, or, at least, on those occasions that it suited them. However, if sometimes they wanted to get home a bit earlier, for example, they would take short cuts like the rest of the drivers so as to achieve that goal.
The Footplate Padre's book "Ripping Good Railway Yarns" published in 1991 tells a story that rings true in many situations where there is one person who speaks with the authority and charm of a King Solomon. During the days of steam at the Narrabri West Locomotive Depot, out west of New South Wales, a discussion was underway about a recent incident relating to a derailment. Some of the drivers and firemen were signing off and others were signing on.
The subject of a specific regulation came up, and opinions abounded about what action ought to have been taken by the driver, the fireman and the guard so as to protect the train, send for help, and resolve the situation in the best possible way.
One driver came up with an answer relating to how he saw the scenario unfolding, another had a completely different response; and so the discussion went on with quite a few varying 'ifs' and 'buts'. There seemed to be no clear light to be thrown on the subject when this particular "one hundred percenter" made his contribution.
He was known as a man who was self opinionated, yet on this occasion he had remained strangely quiet as others voiced their views. This fellow, coughed a little, as if to take the floor, and ensure a hearing. He gained their attention, and all the other drivers and fireman in the group stood a little aside so as to listen attentively to the authoritative oracle.
Taking a deep breath so as to puff up his chest, this driver drew the attention to those gathered the ruling of the General Appendix. He quoted the page number, the clause and the sub-clause so as to identify the ruling of that situation in which they all had under discussion. This brought the debate to a halt, as it was recognised that such knowledge, was beyond their limited collective memorisation of the clauses.
The drivers and fireman went off to their various tasks. One of the drivers however, having gone home, was still pondering the discussions after showering and eating his dinner. Somehow what that driver quoted didn't quite sit right, so he pulled from his 'home work cupboard' the General Appendix and looked up the quoted clauses.
As he sipped his cuppa, while pulling up the correct page and clauses, he was astounded, and showed his wife the heading: "Requirements for the cleaning of Railway Toilets".
The Bible has a great deal to say about misrepresentation and the dangers associated with telling 'porkies' but perhaps 1 Corinthians 13, the Love chapter, is best.
Love speaks the truth and is honest and the text cautions as follows: "Though I speak with eloquence, even that of angels, but have not Love, I am but like a sounding brass or a clanging symbol."