It was a busy day at the warehouse club. Shoppers wandered up and down the aisles while loading their shopping carts with items they came to purchase, while stock clerks worked to keep the shelves full of merchandise and helping customers along the way.
At one end of the store was a table set up for a sales demonstration. Stacked on the table were small boxes of merchandise, while on the wall behind the table was a large sign that read “Sarp’s Super Sharp Shaving Blades”. Not only did the sign attract curious customers to the table, it also made them nervous, very nervous. Of all the shaving blades on the market, Sarp’s was the last brand anyone wanted to buy.
“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,” the salesman behind the table announced. “I’m here to demonstrate the new and improved Sarp’s Super Sharp Shaving Blades!”
Murmurs were heard throughout the small crowd in attendance.
“I know in the past, there have been negative reviews about our shaving blades being too sharp and dangerous for shaving,” the salesman continued, “but since then we have completely re-designed them from scratch to keep them sharp but at the same time make them safer, MUCH safer. Allow me to demonstrate.”
The salesman pulled out a red balloon and inflated it to capacity before tying its neck into a knot. Then he spread some shaving cream across the balloon’s surface and eyed the customers watching with curious but suspicious eyes.
“This balloon represents your face,” he said before pulling out one of Sarp’s blades. Gasps were heard and the entire crowd began to step backwards away from the table. But he proceeded to use the blade on the balloon to wipe away the shaving cream without it popping.
“See?” he said. “New and improved! And if you need to go over that rough spot several times, it’s still safe.”
The salesman pressed the blade down on the balloon and used a vigorous back and forth rubbing motion that still left the balloon intact.
By now the crowd was convinced that Sarp’s Super Sharp Shaving Blades were finally safe and they exhaled a simultaneous sigh of relief. Customers began retrieving boxes of shaving blades from the table and put them in their carts before continuing their shopping.
The salesman watched as the crowd dissipate and disappear among the other shoppers in the store. “Success,” he said to himself as he looked at the balloon that survived the demonstration, “I guess I won’t be needing this anymore.” Pulling out a pin from his briefcase, he pressed it on the balloon, which burst with a loud bang.
At that instant, boxes of Sarp’s Super Sharp Shaving Blades began to rain on the floor as customers threw them out of the shopping carts during their terrified stampede to the checkouts. Never again would they consider buying Sarp’s Super Sharp Shaving Blades.
The sales demonstration had been a bust.