Bill: Where did you get that gold watch Joe?
Joe: I won it in a race.
Bill: How many people participated in it?
Joe: Three, a policeman, the owner of the watch, and me!
Jake is struggling through a bus station
with two huge and heavy suitcases when a stranger walks up to him and asks, “Have you got the time?”
Jake sighs, puts down the suitcases and glances at his wrist. “It’s quarter to six,” he says.
“Hey, that’s a pretty fancy watch!” exclaims the stranger.
Jake brightens a little. “Yeah, it’s not bad. Check this out!”
He shows him a time-zone display for every time zone in the world. He hits a few buttons and from somewhere on the watch a voice says, “The time is eleven past six.”
Jake continues, “I’ve put in regional accents for each city. The display is of unbelievably high quality and the voice is simply astounding.”
The stranger is struck dumb with admiration.
“That’s not all,” says Jake. He pushes a few more buttons and a tiny but very hi-resolution map of New York City appears on the display. “The flashing dot shows our location by satellite positioning,” explains Jake.
“I want to buy this watch,” says the stranger.
“Oh, no, it’s not ready for sale yet; I’m still working out the bugs,” says the inventor. “But look at this,” and he proceeds to demonstrate that the watch is also a very creditable little FM radio receiver with a digital tuner, a sonar device that can measure distances up to 125 metres, a pager with thermal paper printout and, most impressive of all, the capacity for voice recordings of up to 300 standard-size books,” says Jake.
“I’ve got to have this watch,” says the stranger.
“No, you don’t understand; it’s not ready.”
“I’ll give you $1000 for it.”
“Oh, no, I’ve already spent more than that!”
“I’ll give you $5000 for it.”
“But it’s just not…”
“I’ll give you $15,000 for it.” And the stranger pulls out a checkbook. Jake stops to think. He’s only put about $8500 into materials and development, and with $15 000 he can make another one and have it ready for merchandising in only six months. The stranger frantically finishes writing the check and waves it in front of him. “Here it is, ready to hand to you right here and now. $15,000. Take it or leave it!”
Jake abruptly makes his decision. “Okay,” he says, and peels off the watch. They make the exchange and the stranger starts happily away.
“Hey, wait a minute!” calls Jake after the stranger turns around warily. He points to the two suitcases he’d been trying to wrestle through the bus station. “Don’t forget your batteries!”