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Engineer Solves Guillotine Problem

Once upon a time there lived three men: a doctor, a merchant, and an engineer, who had all offended the king in some manner and were sentenced to die via a guillotine on the same day.

The day of the execution arrived, and the doctor was led up to the guillotine. As he strapped the doctor to the guillotine, the executioner asked, “Head up or head down?”

“Head up,” said the doctor.

“Blindfold or no blindfold?”

“No blindfold.”

So the executioner raised the axe, and z-z-z-z-ing! Down came the blade and stopped barely an inch above the doctor’s neck. The law stated that in case an execution didn’t succeed the first time the prisoner had to be released: so the doctor was set free.

Then the merchant was led up to the guillotine.

“Head up or head down?” said the executioner.

“Head up.”

“Blindfold or no blindfold?”

“No blindfold.”

The executioner raised his axe, and z-z-z-z-ing! Down came the blade stopping an inch above the merchant’s neck. Again since the law stated that if the execution didn’t succeed the first time the prisoner had to be released, the merchant was set free.

Finally the engineer was led up to the guillotine.

“Head up or head down?”

“Head up.”

“Blindfold or no blindfold?”

“No blindfold.”

As the executioner raised his axe the engineer suddenly yelled out:

“WAIT! I see what the problem is!”