A farmer is taking his new bride home in his mule-drawn cart. The mule stumbles, and the farmer says sternly, ‘That’s once.’ After an interval the mule stumbles again. ‘That’s twice,’ says the farmer. The mule stumbles a third time. The farmer says, ‘That’s three,’ and takes out a gun and kills the mule. The farmer’s new bride is horrified and shocked. She exclaims, ‘What are you doing? You just shot that poor animal! How could you?’ The farmer looks at her and says sternly, ‘That’s once.’
In this tale, the mule committed three ‘infractions’. But he was only warned twice before he was punished. Assuming that we generally allow three infractions before we take action, do people usually give only two warnings? Or do they allow four infractions and give three warnings before taking action?