That’s a Great Idea! On Second Thought…

The world is full of simple things that make our lives easier and we don’t even notice most of them. Some of them, however, I think we would be better without. In no particular order, here are my nominations for Greatest Overlooked Invention That We Would Miss If It Was Gone, But Would Probably Make Our Lives Safer If It Was. You can call this the “GOITWWMIIWGBWPMOLSIIW Awards” for short. I should probably go ahead and copyright that acronym; it could catch on.

Wide Mouth Cans. I remember the marketing campaigns for Mountain Dew’s wide mouth can in the ‘90s. I remember buying Mountain Dew rather than other soft drinks because it was easier to drink. I do not remember the last time I saw a standard-sized opening on a can. This one isn’t awful, but I can’t help think that if there’s one thing we Americans didn’t need, it was to be able to get our high-calorie, sugary beverages into our digestive systems faster. Then again, there are no statistics on how many people choking on a bratwurst have been saved by the rapid flow of an icy beverage.


Gas Pump Kickstands. You know that little spring-loaded piece of metal that keeps the gas pumping even if you let go? I can’t imagine life without it. Actually, I can. It would be a life full of hand cramps, frustration, and apparently more fires. It seems that in the winter people have been letting the gas continue to pump while they got back in their cars, inadvertently picking up static electricity from the seats that would be discharged near the flow of gasoline when they went back to the pump. No wonder you occasionally find a gas station that has removed the stair-stepped holder for the kickstand.

Upside Down Ketchup Bottles. Remember when grabbing a knife or having someone lecture you on “hitting the 57” was just a regular part of every cookout? Those days are gone because someone thought to make the top of the ketchup bottle large and flat. They also had to invent a little valve that keeps the condiment from coming out of the bottle until it is squeezed with Hulk-like strength. If you’re like most people over the age of 5, you probably prefer to have more beef on your hamburger bun than tomato paste, but with that valve, it is nigh impossible to regulate the amount of ketchup you get. As soon as you squeeze hard enough to get the flow started, half the bottle is on your hotdog…and your shirt.

Call Waiting. It makes you feel really important to say “Hold on a second, I have another call” doesn’t it? Unfortunately it never quite goes that way for me. I am usually in the middle of the important conversation when someone is calling just to check in. Even though I don’t switch over to the unimportant call, I still have to listen to the annoying call waiting beep four times before it finally goes to voicemail. And the beep is always at the worst time! “Make sure you tell *BEEP* not to forget to bring the *BEEP* because that is the most important thing when you show up at *BEEP* ‘o clock. If you have any questions call me at 5*BEEP*342. I’ve got to go. See you there.”

Do you have a dissenting opinion? You look like you do. Leave it as a comment below.


About Jeff Postlewaite

high school principal since '07, father since '04, teacher since '03, husband since '03, sound tech since '96, UVA fan since '92, gadget junkie since '89, Christian since '88, Giants fan since '84, golfer since '83, brother since '83, human since '81

Posted on July 14, 2011, in Diversions and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. You wouldn’t be taking bad about the wide-mouth can if Coke Zero invented it first 🙂

    • Very true, Eric. Not that anyone actually cares, but three different drinks claim to be the first to use the wide mouth can: Mountain Dew, Coors, and some other beer company that I don’t remember or feel motivated enough to google right now.

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