A moral traffic light
From Terry Gilliam's The Fisher King, a bum, played by Tom Waits, explains his role:
Well, he's paying, so he don't have to look. See, guy goes to work every day, eight hours a day, seven days a week. Gets his nuts so tight in a vice...
...he starts questioning the very fabric of his existence. Then one day, about quitting time...
...boss calls him in the office and says: " Hey, Bob, why don't you come in here and kiss my ass for me?"
Well, he says, " Hell with it. I don't care what happens. I just want to see the expression on his face...as I jam this pair of scissors into his arm."
Then he thinks of me.
He says, "Wait a minute. I got both my arms. I got both my legs. At least I'm not begging for a living."
Sure enough, Bob's gonna put those scissors down and pucker right up.
See, I'm what you call kind of a moral traffic light, really.