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Hey, inventors (05/12/2013)
By Frances Edstrom


Lazy people such as I am must be an inspiration for inventors. We’re always looking for ways to get out of work, or find a short cut to complete a task.

We’re the types who get excited about new inventions, such as “parking assist” in cars. We also are the ones who are less than thrilled about such an invention. “Why not go all the way?” we ask. Why just have a sensor that beeps before you hit the guy behind you? You already have a pretty good idea you’re going to hit him if you’ve looked in your review mirror (another great invention). And isn’t that what bumpers are for? Why not invent a REAL parking assist. Pull up parallel to the car in front of the parking space you want to back into, hit a button, and the car does the rest! That would be real “parking assist.”

There are all sorts of inventions I can think of that may not seem all that important, but would help remove stress from family relationships, which would go a long way toward world peace.

How about weaving some sort of sensor into socks and underpants that would make them stick, loosely, to your skin. Separately, sell a receiver that you install in your underwear drawer, laundry hamper and laundry basket. The socks and undies will not leave your hand unless placed over the receptacle with the receiver. Voilá! No more socks on the floor for mom to yell about. Happy mom. Happy family. Happy world.

Last weekend, I was up to my armpits in my least favorite task. (Warning: Graphic!) I was picking up dog poops from the yard. Dog food is probably the best value you can buy. Fifty pounds of kibble not only keeps your dog alive — whether you want it to or not — it also turns into 100 pounds of dog poop. A miracle to rival the loaves and fishes.

Why hasn’t someone invented a way for dogs to pick up their own poops, I wondered. It could be something simple, akin to a cart that the dog can be harnessed to. However, the mechanism inside the cart would be similar to a leaf picker-upper. Wherever the dog runs in the yard, he’d be picking up poops. A little cumbersome, perhaps, in a small yard.

How about inventing waste-less dog food? Surely someone out there can figure that one out. Think about it. A fifty pound bag of dog food that would keep the dog alive, but without waste! A sure winner.

And take windows. Inside windows aren’t so bad. But doing the windows on the outside of your house is a real pain, unless you do what we do at the Post and hire someone for the job. I remember seeing something that you hook up to your hose and then you simply spray your exterior windows and they come clean. Make it even easier — built-in window sprayers! Why not? Install little spray thingies at the bottom of each window, turn on a centrally located faucet, and all the windows get sprayed clean. You just need to remember to close the windows first.

I’m all for cars that will drive themselves. However, I have a feeling that the legislative committee that will decide how fast your car will be able to travel will consist of old fuddy-duddies who are always reluctant to be on the road, and once on it, are loathe to get to the boring, endless meetings they anticipate upon arrival.

I think if you can’t go any faster than ten miles an hour under the speed limit, you should save yourself the trouble and call a taxi. If cars are going to drive themselves, there’s no reason there has to be a speed limit at all. After all, there won’t be a necessity for traffic cops any more. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the fast lane was actually for cars going faster than the rest?

The advent of digital devices has improved my world immensely. Digital can’t do it all, though. We still need inventors for the mundane tasks that are so annoying and time-consuming.

Calling all inventors! 


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