Engineers & Guillotines

During the French Revolution, three professionals were arrested and convicted of having bourgeois values. They were a doctor, a lawyer, and an engineer.

They were to be led to the guillotine one by one. The crowd was roaring with anticipated pleasure.

First up was the doctor. How dare he enrich himself through other peoples illnesses? Access to basic health care is a right, right?

The doctor was placed in the guillotine, and the lanyard was yanked. The blade started on its massive, implacable way down. And lurched to a stop.

The official in charge declared that it would be inhumane to make the doctor suffer this way more than once, so he was setting the doctor free. The crowd howled.

The executioner checked his equipment. All was in order. He put a small tree branch in, and successfully lopped it in half. He re-sharpened the blade.

Next up was the lawyer. Who needs an excuse to wish such a lying, cheating scoundrel dead? The crowd was thunderous in its applause.

The lawyer was placed in the guillotine, and the lanyard was yanked. Again, the blade stopped part-way down! The presiding official once again said that he would set this prisoner free because of the unusual circumstances. The crowd screamed in frustration.

Now came the engineer, a man whose innovations and devices were costing jobs. The crowd fell silent. The executioner checked and re-checked his equipment.

As the engineer was marched up to the guillotine, he looked carefully at it, and said, Wait. I see your problem.

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