Right now, unbeknownst to you, your every need is being prepared to be met. Did that sentence make any sense? Probably not. But let it go! We've got more important things to talk about, like things regular people invented.
Letting regular people invent stuff is all the rage right now, and why not? When we leave inventing up to the geniuses like Leonardo Da Vinci they do stuff like leave themselves little post-it notes about how they have to remember to measure the dead using their finger as a point of reference. Good enough reason to celebrate the common man, as Always The Bridesmaid Rick Santorum proposed we do by never ever educating people ever.
You may remember a while back (about a year ago) I mentioned a new website called "Quirky" which for $10 would take your brilliant idea for an ergonomic broom and crush it into tiny pieces (the idea, not the broom) and then sprinkle those tiny pieces over the sad, slumped shape of your dreams of being a rich millionaire inventor.
Not that I'm speaking from personal experience.
(That broom was a billion dollar idea, dang it!)
Quirky, possibly because of the name, wasn't populist enough for you people, though -- too many high-falutin' inventions dealing with wine and iPods, is my guess-- and so inventing, or, inventin', as it might be, has been dropped another level of sophistication with Wal-Mart's "Get It On The Shelf" campaign.
As a diehard fan of Wal-Mart, I will tell you that this is not an ad for them at all; I'm not (unlike most opinions I put on this site) being paid for telling you about this, beyond the satisfaction I get from making fun of people who think that it's oh so simple to invent something. It's not. We live in a world where I will probably never realize my dream of having an "In the Cupboard Dishwasher," no matter how much sense that makes, because even though I have the ideas I do not have what experts refer to as "practical skills" and so cannot actually make my inventions a reality.
Also, I never wanted to measure a dead guy with my finger. That appears to be an entry-level requirement into inventing.
Or it was. Because Wal-Mart, which previously made it simpler for guys like me to buy packing crates full of bite-sized Twix bars which is one of the wonderful things about living in 2012 -- we can do that, buy candy by the crate-- has now made it easier for reg'lar folks to invent stuff with this "Get It On The Shelf" campaign, which lets (as I understand it, having done no research beyond reading Da Vinci's diaries and getting grossed out) people come up with ideas that Wal-Mart will then sell.
And the finalists are UP! And they are an intriguing bunch that I think we can all agree should all definitely be sold by Wal-Mart. Allow me, if you will, to review them each briefly because I know that you are too busy to care about society the way I care about society, so once again I have to do all the "hard" "work" around here because I am 100% devoted to hard work, society, and getting things done.
(NOTE: Last night, I was supposed to vacuum out my car and instead I took Mr F and Mr Bunches for a walk and we blew dandelions into people's yards.)
(But they were dandelions that were already in those people's yards, so it was fair. It's the circle of life.)(Or something.)
(Don't hate me because I'm beautiful, is what I'm trying to say.)
We begin with Humankind Water, which at first I thought was water sold by The Human Fund but it's not, it's even more spurious: the ad copy says it's trying to do the impossible, which in this case is not "sniff a Cadillac up your nose" (mention in the comments if you get that reference without Googling it) but instead is "giving 100% of their net profits" to provide clean drinking water to the 1,000,000,000 people dying without it.
Which latter part is noble and hopefully not impossible and which former part is neither particularly noble nor impossible. Giving "net profits," however that is defined, doesn't mean that it's a charity -- costs and salaries might still be paid, for all I know, and they might be outrageous salaries, for all I know. But let's give them the benefit of the doubt because on their website they point out that all they really need is $6,000,000,000 and they are correct that individuals alive right now could provide that amount of money and make sure that nearly everyone in the world has clean drinking water.
Then there's Soleeze Spring Loaded Insoles which if there was any rule regarding "Truth In What I Immediately Imagine Your Advertising Means" would be Bouncing Shoes that would let me take 7-league steps but which instead are apparently better insoles, better because they have springs.
It's interesting what's happening in the worlds of shoes and mattresses -- as mattresses move away from springs, shoes are moving towards springs. Can we be far away from the day that mattresses promise to revitalize and de-stink us, while shoes lull us to sleep?
Soleeze's video, which you can watch here, makes a bunch of claims like "the average foam" in a shoe lasts "200 miles." Why would I doubt the word of a company that puts twelve springs into a shoe insert?
Then there's the Bill of Rights Silver Bracelet. Ever find yourself in an argument with a werewolf about who, exactly, has a right to a jury trial? Been there, done that, am I right? This little beauty'll solve that problem in no time flat. "Much like the principals in my Constitution, the words in my bracelet won't fade," says the nice lady in the video. And I'm just now realizing that these aren't really inventions, per se -- they're things that already exist that people want to sell in Wal-Mart but for some reason Wal-Mart hasn't been willing to sell them and won't unless someone votes them in. So all of these things are like the Mitt Romney of merchandise.
Which means I'm going to wrap it up by picking my own personal favorite, the "T-Shirt That Only Really Matters When It's Wet," which is every t-shirt, am I right?
(I am convinced that saying Am I right? after something makes it even more hilarious. I plan to try this out when I argue a case in front of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals tomorrow. I bet they'll love the showmanship.)
The person who posted that video on Youtube will not allow you to, in comments on his video, say anything about politics or ponies. That's what he says in the video description, anyway. Comments are disabled on the video, which means I bet every person who saw it did what I was going to do, which was post a comment about which Little Pony we'd vote for for President.
(I myself would only vote for one who wears a Bill of Rights Silver Bracelet. These colors don't run, horsey!)
The T-Shirt That Only Works When Wet is the "Mr. Spritz Mysterious Shirts," and you have to watch the video to truly appreciate the wondrous disutility of this article of clothing:
"After working hard, you know what I want," says "Beer" man, and the answer is apparently "A beer and a quick hosing down." Even better is "When I get splashed by a puddle, I just want to smile." Because that man is lying. He doesn't want to smile, he wants his shirt to smile for him. So to be honest he's saying "When I get splashed by a puddle, I'm either too lazy to actually smile or I want to fake a reaction that will lull you into a false sense of security."
I cannot imagine a use for a shirt that only says something when wet. But that's probably because I'm not inventor-y or creative enough. I bet Leonardo Da Vinci could've done something with that shirt. Like measure a dead guy with it. While smiling.