The Most Creative Comeback Line in History

The most creative comeback line in history was when the English scientist Michael Faraday showed his invention (the electric motor) to the British Prime Minister.

After viewing the rotating shaft of the motor, the Prime Minister exclaimed “What possible use is there for this toy?”  To which, Faraday immediately replied “Why, sir, someday you will tax it!”

In an instant, the sharp-minded Faraday imagined being a Prime Minister, noted their obsession for taxing things, and put his answer in their terms.  In other words, Faraday knew his customer, and crafted his response following the rules in Cross Your Arms to Learn the 4 Steps of Creative Design.

The creative tool for writing similar comebacks is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.  You follow the Naive American saying, “Great Spirit, help me never to judge another until I have walked a mile in their moccasins.”

Native American Chief

Another quote about seeing things from another person’s perspective is from the novel To Kill a Mockingbird:

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view . . . until you climb into their skin and walk around in it.”

Faraday’s comeback was prophetic because motors are now the electronic slaves that power our world economy with unit sales in the trillions resulting in tax revenue in the billions annually.

The lack of creative foresight by the government was highlighted by a comeback line from Benjamin Franklin when he observed the first balloon ascension in 1783 while Ambassador at the Court of France:

A government official said, “What possible use are balloons?” Franklin answered “What use is a newborn baby?”

Creative Picture of Balloons

Curtis Panasuk, Owner/Instructor, Creativity Classes, Inc.

curtisp@creativityclasses.com

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