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The Wrist Watch

Jake is struggling through a bus station with two huge and obviously heavy
suitcases when a stranger walks up to him and asks "Have you got the

Jake sighs, puts down the suitcases and glances at his wrist. "It's a
quarter to six," he says. "Hey, that's a pretty fancy watch!" exclaims the

Jake brightens a little. "Yeah, it's not bad. Check this out" - and he
shows him a time zone display not just for every time zone in the world,
but for the 86 largest metropolis. He hits a few buttons and from
somewhere on the watch a voice says "The time is eleven 'til six" in a
very West Texas accent. A few more buttons and the same voice says
something in Japanese. Jake continues "I've put in regional accents for
each city". The display is 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. "View recede ten," Jake says, and
the display changes to show eastern New York state.

"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 meters, a pager with thermal paper
printout and, most impressive of all, the capacity for voice recordings of
up to 300 standard size books," though I only have 32 of my favorites in
there so far" 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 -"

"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. "OK," 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, who turns around
warily. Jake points to the two suitcases he'd been trying to wrestle
through the bus station. "Don't forget your batteries.



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