The year is 400 BC. A Sumerian Salesman named Mestothia has invented a new tool that will one day save mankind. However, his idea is far-fetched and abstract for people at the time. We join him during his door-to-door sales pitch in Uruk, a thriving city.
Homeowner: So let me get this straight, you want me to buy a container to organize and store my garbage?
Mestothia: Yes, that’s the gist of it.
Homeowner: Just to be clear, my goat bones, rotten okra, and other scraps of papyrus you’d like me to put into a container and seal it up like I would keep flour or rice that I’m trying to keep fresh?
Mestothia: I know this seems strange, but the crows and the rats won’t be able to eat your garbage that way.
Homeowner: I don’t understand. What is your issue with the crows and the rats?
Mestothia: Well it just seems to me that whenever they’re around a lot of people get dysentery. I believe 15 of your sons died from that last month, correct?
Homeowner: Yes that is true.
Mestothia: Plus, won’t you find your house more aesthetically pleasing if you weren’t always having to dump giant piles of decomposing refuse on the street?
Homeowner: So what am I supposed to do with this container when it is full?
Mestothia: Well….I guess you just take it a dump it out onto the street. I hadn’t really thought that far ahead, to be honest.
Homeowner: And how much is this selling for?
Mestothia: I’m not as concerned with price as I am with building a movement. So for you I would be willing to give it away to you for two copper coins.
Homeowner: Hmm….I don’t think this is for me right now. This idea is not a good idea. You need to invent something that solves a problem for instance some type of machine that will make rain happen or that kills the mongrel Assyrians or a sandal that actually provides some heel support.
Mestothia: Ok the garbage can might not be for you. But I do have another invention. It’s called a toilet…