“Ooh. Do I detect a little bit of interest? One or two of you thinking: “Well, I haven’t heard that part before.” One or two of you there at the back of the crowd, thought you might quietly slip away and see what anyone else has to offer. But now you’re wondering. And so you should be. The chance of a lifetime doesn’t come your way that often. You don’t want to turn your back on it, do you?
“’Snake oil’? Is that what you’re expecting? Waiting to find out what the ‘catch’ is… But even there the story’s not so simple. Recent scientific studies have revealed that the original snake oil, which was used by Chinese labourers on American railroads in the 1800s for the relief of joint pains, was in fact rich in Omega 3 – known for its anti-inflammatory properties. So, ladies and gentlemen, deride with care. All is not always as it seems.
“So what am I offering? Well you may ask. Eternal life, perhaps? The secret means of locating your perfect partner? Or perfection for yourself – a body that is the envy of all who see it? Or maybe you have illness or some other travail in your family, your circle of friends, for which you seek a cure? These, ladies and gentlemen, are the kinds of things you might expect from me. But I have come here, once and for once only, to offer you something more valuable than any mere remedy, pick-me-up, charm or tincture. I have come to offer you something infinitely more valuable and, moreover, something that requires your innate intelligence to appreciate…
“Ladies and gentlemen, I offer you… nothing!
“Yes. Nothing! Nothing at all. But before you turn away, give it a little thought. For nothing can provide you with eternal life! Nothing can really give you that perfect partner you seek! Nothing can shape you into that impossibly perfect form! Nothing can cure all illnesses, solve all problems! Nothing, ladies and gentlemen, can do anything! Just how wonderful is that? Just how much would you be prepared to pay for such a substance? Something. Of that, I am sure.
“Ah, now some of you are turning away. I hear a few hoots of derision, a few jeers. This is all to be expected, friends, for some will never have the capacity to perceive the true and eternal value of what I have to offer. The rest of you, those who remain – you are the elite, you are the discerning, you are the ones who are reaching out for that chance of a lifetime. Step closer. Closer. Closer still…
“Allow me to demonstrate its properties…”