"More anecdotes on old institutions." joke

My two favourite anecdotes on this subject demonstrate the difference
between renewable and non-renewable resources. First the non-renewable:
The congregation of a small stone church (in England?) decided that the
stone which formed the step up to the front door had become two worn by its
years of use, and would have to be replaced. Unfortunately, there were hardly
any funds available for the replacement. Then someone came up with the bright
idea that the replacement could be postponed for many years by simply turning
the block of stone over.
They discovered that their great-grandparents had beaten them to it.
Now the renewable:
An entomologist at New College, Oxford ("New" because its only a few
centuries old), discovered beetles infesting the oak beams supporting the roof
of the Great Hall. It was fairly urgent that these be replaced before the roof
collapsed-but anyone who has looked at the price of oak lately can tell you
that this was not something the college budget was prepared for.
Since oak from a commercial supplier was out of the question, someone
suggested that the college Forester be sent for. His job was to administer the
various scattered tracts of land that had been deeded to the college when it
was founded. The trustees hoped he might know of suitable trees on college
It turned out that there was indeed a suitable stand of mighty oaks. They
had been planted when the college was founded, and down the centuries each
Forester had told his successor: "You don't cut those oaks; those are for when
the beetles get into the beams in the Main Hall."

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