At the moment I am ‘between jobs’. I use this term because it sounds better than unemployed. I am also between men, between exercise regimes and between detoxes. I love the power of language to turn lemons into lemonade. I think I got this from my Father who always insisted he was not a chicken farmer but a ‘poultry magnate’. I spent the first half of my childhood thinking this meant he attracted birds.
Anyway not having a job or car meant that during the 5 days of torrential downpour last week I was essentially housebound. After making a pillow fort, organising the ‘miscellaneous stuff’ draw and creating the best I-pod mix of all time I started to get cabin fever and resent being trapped inside the house.
This made me wonder why nothing adequate has been invented to shield pedestrians from weather. Our options are essentially a plastic coat or an umbrella. Umbrellas are the crappiest invention known to man. They are great if there is a slight sprinkling and no wind but completely useless in any other scenario. Why in 2010 have we settled for a piece of canvas on a stick that gives you wet legs, blows inside out and potentially blinds anyone within a two metre radius of you?
“I’m terribly sorry madam I hope you weren’t attached to that eye but it is imperative I get to my destination with dry hair. “
These days we can reattach limbs, send man to the moon and make walking, talking robots but we can’t do better than an umbrella? I want to start a foundation dedicated to the research and development of something better than an umbrella. So far all I have come up with is a man-sized perspex cylinder with arm and leg holes. Unfortunately I think that just opens up a whole other can of inconvenience when it comes to sitting, interacting etc. Clearly I am not much of an inventor. Someone out there has to be though ….right?
So before we upgrade our I-pads to be able to detect 45 mins before you are hungry that you will want a pizza and order it for you, we should fix some of the more basic things we have.
Top 5 inventions that should have been improved by 2010 (apart from umbrellas)
5. Personal Computers
Modern computers can do almost anything yet they can’t make one that just works. I know how to turn my computer on. I know how to turn it off. I know how to type words. Beyond that how my computer operates is mystery to me. I don’t want to know that “A fatal exception XX has occurred at 00457:000040B1”. I don’t want to hear about data errors or illegal operations. None of this means anything to me. Stop bothering me with your trifling problem and fix yourself. You’re the computer. Why can’t they invent a computer with nothing but letter keys and a big blue button say ‘FIX’ in the event of any problems.
4. Voice Recognition Automated Phone Systems
They really should have made sure these things worked before rolling them out across every business and firing all the call operators. Please state the name of the business you are trying to reach “Stone’s Pizza”…”You have selected – Australia Zoo”. Arrgghhhh. Luckily I have figured out a loophole that gets me through to a person. With most automated systems I have discovered if you say “FUCK!” loudly while they are talking it cuts off and you go through to a person. I discovered this completely by accident.
3. Television Reception
Ok so this one is just for Perth because I’m sure there are places in the world with perfect television reception. But why why why when I live in the inner city and have both a set top box and digital aerial do I still get crappy reception. Just when they are about to reveal if the curry contains turmeric on Masterchef the picture disappears and is replaced by the ‘weak signal’ message. This fills me with murderous rage. Also why does the digital aerial work best when placed in the least convenient position such as in front of the door or right in the eye poke zone.
2. Pimple Cream
With the exception of the hard core medically prescribed stuff there is not a single pimple cream that works. Smear it on and within a week your pimple will vanish. Well I’ve got news for you that’s how long most of them take to vanish naturally. It’s like saying ‘Buy this magic hair growth cream and within six months your hair will have grown up to an inch”. It’s all LIES. The Emperor’s new pimple cream. When they invent one that can oust my blemish in 15 minutes THEN and only then will I be impressed.
1. Broken Collarbone Treatment
When I was about 17 I broke my collarbone. After hours of waiting around, x-rays, waiting around and disapproving looks (it was an alcohol related mishap) I was given a sling and sent home. A sling. Basically a piece of material and some safety pins was the extent of my treatment. I hazard a guess that this treatment has not been improved since cavemen wrapped bit of mammoth skin around themselves and were given 6 weeks off hunting duty.
There are many, many more but I am a lazy, lazy writer. I would be interested to hear about the things you would like to see improved (NOTE: you have to be following me to comment).
If you would like to donate to the EMFISBTU (Emily Marshall Foundation for Inventing Something Better Than Umbrellas) please don’t hesitate to contact me.