Scrap Pile 4 – Scientists, Religion, and Travelling Salesmen

This is yet another piece I wrote when I was much younger and, although I have nothing to do with it, I couldn’t quite bring myself to throw out. It was, originally, part of a humour sketch meant to be performed aloud – that is to say, a stand up comedy act. I suspect it loses quite a bit in being mere words on paper. I also suspect that nowadays it would be considered somewhat …inappropriate, in terms of tolerance and picking on other social groups, even though it was never meant offensively.


It’s amazing what religious people can get away with just because they’re religious. I mean, can you imagine how we’d react if it was scientists who came to the door at all those inconvenient times?

“Have you found thermo-dynamic theory yet?”

“Dude: it’s six in the morning… go away.”

Religious people knocking on our doors at all sorts of odd times is just something we see as normal. Because, honesty, if you woke up at six in the morning and found a scientist at the door trying to convert you, you’d be wondering whether those breath-mints you’d had earlier were Tic-Tacs or ecstasy. But nowadays, with TV advertising, even religious converters are a rarity at the door. And door-to-door salesmen are practically an endangered species. The generation before mine were pretty used to travelling salesmen, but I bet that in another decade they’ll be so rare they’ll be treated like a novelty act.

“Quick Johnny, get the door: it’s a travelling salesman!”

“I’ve heard of those.”

And they’ll pull out the digital camera so they have something to tell their grandkids.

“And in the summer of 2019 we had a travelling salesman come to the door. A real, honest to thermo-dynamics travelling salesman – and he was selling encyclopaedias. Isn’t that right, Johnny?”

“And they were paper. Tell them about the paper. You’ll love this bit, kids.”

“That’s right, they were paper…”

“Oh bio-wiz, grandma, everybody knows there’s no such thing as a travelling salesman. I mean, come on! The travelling salesman’s no more real than the boogieman. Next you’ll be telling us that people actually used to tell their kids that Santa from the Coca-Cola ads gave out presents in December!”


2019 used to seem like the distant future when I was a teen… What the heck happened?


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