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Who Invented The Vent?

Jan 15, 2008
Inventors start with an idea about how to do something or how to do something better. For example, staples aren't just for holding papers together anymore. Carpenters use them to hold boards together and doctors use them to hold skin together. A couple of years ago an emergency room doctor used four staples to hold a cut on my head together. Ever since, however, I've thought someone should reinvent the staple remover.

Something else that holds our world together is the zipper, but the zipper is the Rodney Dangerfield of inventions. It gets no respect. In fact, zippers get blamed when last year's clothes are too snug. Zippers need better PR. The subject of zippers is brought up most often when men are told theirs are down.

When I see a twistem on a loaf of bread or a clip on a bag of chips, when I see a roll of double-sided tape or a magnetized picture frame, I ask myself why I didn't think of that. The only things I ever invented were teenage excuses for being late.

The ice box turned into the refrigerator, black and white movies turned into Technicolor and land phones turned into cell phones. While progress moves us forward, it turns yesterday's inventions into tomorrow's outventions.

Movies have prequels, sequels and re-makes. TV programs are spun off, cloned and rerun. Does this happen because we're yearning for the entertainment of the past or are we lacking imagination in the present? Is this why the words recreation and re-creation are basically the same?

Mark Twain said that an accident is the best inventor. An apple falling on Newton's head was an accident that led to his discovery of gravity. vory Soap floating was an accident that led to its biggest selling feature. Unfortunately, the only thing I've discovered after an accident is a body shop to repair my car.

Nevertheless, my husband and I came up with an idea for our own invention - a talking doorbell. When you pushed our doorbell, it would say things like "Have your lost weight?" or "Pushing me won't do any good. They're pretending to be out". When we discovered that the talking doorbell had already been invented, I was disappointed; but my disappointment motivated me to come up with another idea. I want to invent the manbell. When you push it, the man in your life talks about feelings.
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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