The Inventive Contrivance Blitz

-Fred Stock

                    Maybe it shows I have too much time on my hands. Or maybe it shows the opposite, and the creativity flow has been impeded or stunted. Or maybe something entirely otherwise… hard to tell. But every now and then the mind gets enough of some indefinable chemical or electric charge, just don’t know, but it goes out into space with great ideas blooming like dandelions on a spring meadow. At least they seem great at first. Let me elucidate (you do and you’ll clean it up!)

          I have dreamed up a device which automatically substitutes soothing music and aerial shots of Rocky Mountain vistas for any televised car commercial. It also looks for the work of amateur back room TV board operators who run commercials 20 decibels louder than the program they interrupt, and it silences that and places the words “monkey business” on the screen in gentle pastel colors.

          Driving to Temecula the other day, my next contraption materialized. It’s a gadget which gently slows my car by perhaps fifteen miles per hour whenever some clown gets closer than one car-length to my back bumper at freeway speeds! If that doesn’t get rid of him/her, it emits a gentle spray of motor oil mist from a little port at the back of the car. That should work! We’ll also make a bumper sticker reading, “Our Cruise Control Set at Speed Limit. If That’s Holding You Back, Who’s Wrong?”  Good Grief!

          Then there’s my Billy May Squelcher. It listens for that blaring annoying voice and mutes the sound. The picture changes to a picture of Harpo the Clown. It also silences any repetition of the phrase “right here right now” after the third use in any minute, or after the tenth time in any half hour. If that mindless phrase occurs more than four times in any two minute period, it switches the channel to a real TV news team. You can also assign other occasions with your own computer.

          And here’s a marketing idea; You invent an allergy pill which is also supposed to relieve the stress and frustration of life’s little moments. Then you package it in those aluminum foil and plastic sandwiches which cannot be accessed by a person with eyes watering and nose running… no, not at all… even with a letter opener and a pair of number seven pliers, and enough invective to make Richard Nixon blush. This way, when you give up and ask your wife to open it, (and she of course immediately gets it out and hands you the pill,) it will always seem to work beautifully, calming your nerves, disbursing stress. Successful marketing if I ever heard of such a thing. You betcha! Remember to kiss the wife and say thank you when you can breathe again.

          It was very late in the 1800’s when a commissioner of the US Patent Office hit a very slow period and decided to close the office, saying essentially, ‘everything that can be invented has been invented.’ That of course, was in BC – before computers. Things still evolve and folks still devise. It’s good to know that we can still create marvelous things, patent them, have them made in China, and sell them to our contemporaries for fun and profit. What a country! –fhs