Lost in translation
Jake, an inventor, is struggling through a bus station with two huge and heavy suitcases when a stranger walks up and asks, “Have you got the time?”
Jake sighs, puts down the suitcases. “It’s 5:45.”
“That’s a nice watch!” notes the stranger.
“Yeah, check this out, time-zone display for every time zone in the world and the 86 largest metropolises.” He hits a few buttons and a voice says, “The time is 11 ’till six.”
“That’s not all” Jake proudly says.
He pushes another button and a map of New York City appears on a screen. “The flashing dot shows our location by satellite positioning,”
“I want to buy this watch!” says the stranger.
“Oh, no, it’s not ready for sale yet” says the inventor. “But check this, it’s got an FM-radio receiver with a digital tuner, a sonar device that can measure distances up to 300 feet and, most-impressive of all, the capacity for voice recordings of up to 300 standard-size books.”
“I’ve got to have this watch!” says the stranger.
“It’s really not ready …”
“I’ll give you $1,000 for it!”
“Oh, no, I’ve already spent more than …”
“I’ll give you $5,000 for it!”
“But it’s just not …”
“I’ll give you $15,000 for it – take it or leave it.” The stranger pulls out a checkbook.
Jake abruptly makes his decision. “OK,” he says and peels off the watch, making the exchange. 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.”