- Boxed cake mix Don't get me wrong here, I love to cook. But sometimes you just need a cake in a jiffy, and these miraculous boxes are the answer. They eliminate the sometimes-tedious mixing of eggs and flour and sugar and milk, blending, measuring. And there's one thing to be found in Pillsbury boxed cake mix that you just can't get anywhere else. One word, three syllables, big yum: Funfetti.
- Dictionary Without a big collection of all the words in the world and their definitions, how would we know what an encephaloma is? (Don't say "the internet" because if the dictionary wasn't invented, nobody would know what it meant and couldn't go posting it all over cyberspace, now could they?)
- Stickers Because life without them would suck.
- Lawnmowers In a world without lawnmowers, people would either have to crawl on their hands and knees with a pair of scissors to cut the grass, or let their lawns grow and grow and over-grow into a huge tangly mess. Most people in this lovely country of ours are lazy, so I predict the latter.
- Squirtable hand soap One of the most disgusting things ever is a bar of used soap sitting on a bathroom counter. You know, when it's all melted down and the dribbles that have run off of it harden, so it's a little bit stuck to the counter and you have to pry it off. Then you have to rub it all over your hands and make a bubbly lather, which takes forever. Imagine if at the sinks in the mall, at school, in restaurants, in stores, you had to use a bar of soap that hundreds of other people have used before you. If you said "ew," you'd better start appreciating those convenient dispensers full of chemically liquid hand soap.
- Foaming hand soap So long as we're still talking about soap, I'd like to acknowledge a newer innovation: foaming hand soap. The few locations that I have discovered it are: Nordstrom's, Aqui, Target, and two different pizza parlors. It is soap that has been whipped up to produce a frothy bubbly substance that makes every hand-wash a big ol' hoedown. This soap is no ordinary soap. It's sanitary. It's pre-lathered. It's fun. When I first found it (in Aqui) I was absolutely stunned. I was expecting a fragrant, viscous pink glop to squirt into my waiting hand. Instead, a stream of peppy white froth shot out. After getting over the initial shock (It's not soap, it's foam!) I took a circumspective glance around me, confirmed that I was the only one in the ladies room, then started pumping away. Piles of white foam cascaded from my hand into the sink. I immersed myself halfway to my elbows in billows of sweet bubbly lather. I almost wanted to scream with joy, but then another woman came in. I washed the soap down the drain as quickly as I could and tried to act nonchalant as I sloughed foam off my arms.
- Glue guns The rubbery clear glue that squirts out of the tip of these suckas can stick anything together. You could glue a cat to the ceiling if you wanted to. But then, of course, I would seek you out and kill you.
- Staplers What if staplers didn't exist? What would we do if some papers needed to be attached together? I suppose we could poke a hole through each paper, then loop some twine through the holes and tie it. However, that would take quite a bit of time and the knot could become undone. Staples can bite through several layers of paper, and fold closed to provide maximum security in a snap.
- Flashlights Because I am pretty sure I would burn myself if I had to use a torch. Plus, how else would I put on a shadow puppet show?
- Electric pencil sharpeners What would life be like without electric pencil sharpeners? I mean, seriously. What did they do in the old days, shred off strips of wood and graphite with a carving knife? We are lucky to have the luxury of an acutely pointy tip, shaped and smoothed to perfection by sharp, spinning blades.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Top Ten Greatest Inventions
This post is exactly what the title proudly proclaims: I will list the top ten greatest inventions of all time. We all know about automobiles, planes, Internet, computers, and so on, so I'll exclude those obvious creations. I'm going to go ahead and skip on over to all the wonderful little items that someone or other came up with for the sole purpose of making life either easier, or more fun.