There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
Yossarian was willing to give Orr the benefit of the doubt because Orr was from the wilderness outside New York City and knew so much more about wildlife than Yossarian did, and because Orr, unlike Yossarian's mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, in-law, teacher, spiritual leader, legislator, neighbour and newspaper, had never lied to him about anything crucial before.
"What would they do to me," he asked in confidential tones, "if I refused to fly them?"
"We'd probably shoot you,"ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen replied.
"We?" Yossarian cried in surprise. "What do you mean, we? Since when are you on their side?"
"If you're going to be shot, whose side do you expect me to be on?" ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen retorted.
That men would die was a matter of necessity; which men would die, though, was a matter of circumstance, and Yossarian was willing to be the victim of anything but circumstance.
Major Major had been born too late and too mediocre. Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it had been all three. Even among men lacking all distinction he inevitably stood out as a man lacking more distinction than all the rest, and people who met him were always impressed by how unimpressive he was.
Quotations from Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, New York: Simon and Schuster Paperbacks, (1955, 1961) 2004. Image from Google Images.