Gatekeepers Kill Innovation

The sales guy, shifting his girth in the saddle, kicked his mule up the muddy road, toward the castle. A heavy machine trundled behind, harnessed to the mule by two stout oak poles. He could see the arrows flying, and hear the swords clashing against metal and shields. The castle ramparts buzzed with men desperate to hold off the barbarian swarm fighting to seize the castle. The sales guy, ever confident, knew his innovative product could turn the battle tide and repel the swarm, bringing safety to the women, children and men within the castle walls.

The mule stuttered to a stop at the vendors’ entrance to the castle. The sales guy lifted the heavy knocker, and shook the metal clad door with the impact. The door opened, a wrinkled, old hag, eyes bloodshot, peered through the door crack at the sales guy. “What do you want? My gosh, are you selling something? Can you not see that his lordship is indisposed?”

The sales guy craned his neck, peering into the dark interior and saw cauldrons of hot oil bubbling on the stove. Pageboys, 4 to a pot, lugged the oil up the stairs to the castle defenders. Women in the kitchen cried. Children of the cooks buried their heads under the tables. All fearful of the barbarian horde and knew time was running out. The situation grim.

“Madam, I have a solution to your siege. With my help your lordship can repel the mangy horde of killers and save the day!” Said the salesman. “You will all live happily ever after, and will sleep soundly knowing your castle is barbarian proof.”

“Send us a message, clearly written on bark about your product. At the next town, there is a very reliable carrier pigeon service. Use that and I will ensure you, my master will get your message.”

“And I am sure that is true madam, yet you will all be raped, tortured and killed during the time taken to get the bird to fly straight. Your castle and life as you know it will cease.” The sales guy said as the old had slammed the door, with no effort to listen. The salesguy, understanding rejection, looked to the next castle which stood among the trees northward.

He hitched up his pants, patted his mule and trampled down the path to the next castle, surely the barbarians next target. The mule, struggled at first with the weight of the sales person’s barbarian killing product, but soon the machine gun rolled on easily.

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