MiSTed: What To Invent [ 1 / 1 ]
(too old to reply)
Joseph Nebus
2013-12-31 06:27:47 UTC
[ Into the Theater. ALL file in. ]
TOM: What to invent for? Why not just the giddy fun of it?
CROW: I dunno, *stuff*? Don't pick on me, man.
The author will be glad to answer questions
TOM: Why is there France?
MIKE: And why is there Spain?
CROW: And why am I here and why is there rain?
relating to these and to other types of inventions.
ALL: Oh.
However, no letter will be answered unless a properly
stamped and self-addressed envelope is enclosed. Do not
send any models.
MIKE: You have been warned!
By Raymond Francis Yates
TOM: Esq, J.D., LL.D., M.Sc, M.Eng, ASC, LLC.
HOW is your ingenuity today?
CROW: And if not, WHY not?
It is to be hoped
that it is alert and productive,
MIKE: If it knows what's good for it.
because this month we
present a number of rather engaging problems.
TOM: Like, when you lose sleep, where does it go?
They are
the everyday sort that one meets from time to time; but
CROW: A simple kind of problem, something found around the house every day.
the right solutions to them would prove to be money
TOM: First problem, a useful counterfeiting engine.
After all, a new mouse trap clever enough to win
the approval of five million customers
CROW: Sounds kinda needy, actually.
TOM: Low self-esteem.
would make as much
for its inventor as would a new Diesel engine or a new
television receiver.
MIKE: Among mice looking to buy Diesel engines, traps, or television receivers.
Complication never was a criterion
for the production of wealth in inventing --- and never
will be.
TOM: But if your invention isn't complicate everybody's going to point at you and laugh.
The successful inventor is often a mere
opportunist. He has to be.
MIKE: He lives in the wild, untamed world of patent attorneys.
He watches the public, tries
to find out in what it is interested and what it is doing
at the moment.
TOM: Man, inventors are *creeps*.
At the present time the public has ``gone
CROW: Yeah, everybody with their ... uh ... the heck?
There never was a time when hobbies of various
kinds were more popular than they are today.
MIKE: Well, except that one week back in April, but that was a crazy time.
Among the
current hobbies that are enjoying a new and robust
stimulation, photography stands out prominently.
TOM: I'm not sure I'm allowed more stimulated photographs after Mike caught me.
can the inventor do for these people who have turned to
the camera for relaxation?
CROW: Point out they have cell phones?
Many things; but chief among
them is a recording camera for the more careful and
exacting men and women who have embraced this most
absorbing work.
MIKE: For all those people whose cameras run out of cord.
Millions Being Made with New Inventions; America
Needs New Gadgets.
MIKE: Also doohickeys, gewgaws, thingamajigs, and extruded lumps of drop-forged metal.
TOM: Can you give me something in a piece of bent wood?
The careful worker likes to keep a record of his
exposures in his effort to master the art
CROW: Well, isn't that what the Police Blotter's for?
and would buy
any good camera that automatically recorded the time of
exposure, the time of the day
TOM: The time of the moon.
CROW: The time our lives.
MIKE: The time of the apes.
CROW: The time of tea.
TOM: Huh?
CROW: I dunno, it was a Google autocomplete.
MIKE: I don't believe you.
and the stop that was used
when each picture was taken. All of this could be done
on the edge of the film and it would make a most useful
TOM: Ah, I'd just throw that information in the junk drawer and never look at it again anyway.
Naturally, such a mechanism could be applied
only to the more expensive cameras.
CROW: Lest any ideas of good photography get in the heads of the poor.
No other field of human activity is as broad as
the field of invention, hence it becomes possible to
speak of the need of recording cameras and shoe polish in
the same breath.
TOM: And cabbages and kings.
But what is wrong with shoe polish?
MIKE: Well, that we all wear sneakers anymore?
The first objection to ordinary polish is that it does
not stay put;
TOM: It ... sneaks up and attacks you at the wrists?
it is far too perishable once it has been
placed on shoes.
CROW: It screams in agony every moment of its living death!
A walk through dew-covered grass will
ruin the best shine.
TOM: Spoiling the accounting department's whole morning frolic.
No doubt there is a chemical, or a substance,
MIKE: Maybe a tonic or an ointment?
CROW: Perhaps something in an unguent or an excretion?
which someday will be added to shoe polish to make it
really waterproof. The man who discovers this
combination will become wealthy within a year's time.
TOM: I've got it! Itty-bitty toe umbrellas!
The typewriter eraser is a combination of
fine-ground sand and rubber.
TOM: Plus a typewriter! A typewriter eraser is nothing without a typewriter.
When such an eraser is used
MIKE: Yes it is. A typewriter eraser without a typewriter is still an *eraser*.
TOM: I think we both know if you want to argue this point we're going to end up hating each other bitterly.
on a typewriter a quantity of this sand falls down into
MIKE: Yeah, I pass.
the mechanism where it causes undue wear. Sand is fatal
to machinery of any kind.
CROW: Excepting the sandcastle-o-matic, I mean.
TOM: Plus you'll still be wrong.
This problem may be solved in
two ways;
MIKE: Three, if you count not making mistakes.
either by the production of a more efficient
eraser, without sand,
TOM: Maybe use raw mud instead.
or some sort of a guard on
CROW: Authorized to use deadly force!
MIKE: How is raw mud different from just dirt?
to prevent the sand from sifting down into
TOM: Um ... yeah, I withdraw the invention.
the works. Either answer should be worth $50,000.
CROW: Is that, like, $50,000 for your whole life, or like $50,000 a year?
TOM: $50,000 a typewriter.
The home mechanic, or the carpenter who has
either made or repaired screens for windows,
MIKE: Or the window screen hobbyist.
knows how
difficult it is to stretch the screening so that it will
be taut and perfectly flat after the moulding has been
put in place.
TOM: Why, thousands die every year in the struggle against window screens.
Surely some sort of a tool could be
invented to assure this result.
CROW: It could be a widget or it might even be a mount of some fashion.
It should be able to
grasp the screening and to keep it pulled tight until it
is tacked into place. At least 50 manufacturers stand
ready to obtain the rights to such a product.
TOM: I've asked them extensively! They fear my coming round to ask again!
Speaking of
screens reminds one of the difficulty of raising and
lowering awnings on screened windows.
MIKE: Just trust me on this one, folks.
The screen has to
be unhooked and pushed out of the way---a very
inconvenient and bothersome procedure.
TOM: Of ... unhooking and pushing?
CROW: I've never awned, myself, but this ...
MIKE: [ Shrugging ] Look, it's just really complicated, okay?
Is it not
possible to overcome this objection either by a new
method of raising and lowering screens or by the use of a
simple mechanism that may be manipulated from inside the
MIKE: Or is there hope for sanity in this world gone mad?
The solution to this problem would produce an
ample reward.
TOM: But the real reward is knowing you've made the life of window awning raiser-and-lowererers substantially better.
``Why I could have invented that,'' says the
would-be inventor when he sees some new and clever little
improvement that is known to be making plenty of money
for its creator.
MIKE: What does he say after seeing some dopey little improvement that somebody's taking a bath on?
CROW: Why could *I* have invented that?
Yes, indeed, many inventors, like many
amateur speculators in the stock market, find it very
easy to make money with their hind sight.
TOM: That's it! Kiester glasses!
The thing to
do is to beat the other fellow to the design.
CROW: And steal Elisha Grey's patent.
And here
is a good chance to win out. Everyone knows that ash
trays tip over and that the housewife is called upon to
clean up many such resulting messes.
TOM: If only someone could invent the ashless tray?
It would seem
fairly easy to make an ash tray which would automatically
cover itself when tipped beyond a certain critical angle.
MIKE: Hey wait ... I just invented it! That's great!
Such a tray could be dropped on the floor without danger
of dumping its contents.
TOM: Until we perfect the lid-evading ash!
What was said for the non-tipable or unspillable
ash tray also might be said for coasters used for
CROW: So get your improved cigarette coasters now.
The number of bridge table accidents, wherein
glasses are tipped during dealing, is legend.
TOM: As recounted in song and wollen tapestry.
We need
coasters that will make such accidents impossible.
MIKE: Try our new ``dry'' drinks.
In line with our previous comment in connection
with hobbies it should be borne in mind that archery is
now receiving a great deal of attention,
TOM: ... buh?
MIKE: That would've been, like, my 46th guess.
and that a newly
designed, cheap and powerful metal bow would be a winner,
especially for the younger folk.
CROW: People might be interested in new, cheap, powerful tools for their hobby? Why am I just hearing of this now?
Naturally such a bow
would have to be as light as the wooden ones.
TOM: Building an antigravity machine small enough to fit on an arrow will be a considerable challenge.
bows are available but could be improved greatly.)
CROW: What isn't that true of?
little Willie, all dressed up in his Sunday best, gets
his hands on an ice cream cone he rapidly degenerates
into a most unpromising spectacle.
MIKE: So ... shoot him with an arrow?
If mother could buy a
dripless cone for him she would make the inventor of that
cone a very happy man---
CROW: If a woman invents it, call the whole thing off.
and little Willie would remain a
respectable person while satisfying his appetite for ice
TOM: I've got it! I could invent a new name for Willie!
MIKE: Willie, Willie ... Tillie? Dillie? Quillie?
CROW: I think we're getting worse somehow.
The manufacturers of electrically operated ice
boxes are looking for a simple mechanism to permit such
boxes to defrost themselves within a minute's time.
CROW: I have one that does it in 75 seconds?
MIKE: No! You have failed electrically operated ice box manufacturers worldwide! Hang your head in shame!
CROW: Okay.
A great many uses could be found for a
self-closing cork to be applied to pop and other bottles.
TOM: Like ... closing?
Such a device should permit fluid to flow only when the
bottle is inverted. A gadget of this kind would be very
handy. It could be sold separately in the chain stores.
MIKE: It must be carefully guarded lest the secret fall into German hands!
Millions of people in this country keep canary
TOM: Some of them have to be stool pigeons.
The ordinary cage presents many hazzards and
birds often hang themselves or otherwise meet with death
in some of the ``ornamental'' boxes.
CROW: Suicidal canaries? Who gets them, the cast of _Funky Winkerbean_?
What is needed is a
safety cage---one that will make it impossible for
accidents of any kind to happen.
TOM: Or you could just leave the canaries alone.
Pocket nail clippers have never been really
popular for the simple reason that one must use a file
afterwards because a very rough edge is left.
CROW: Which kills thousands every year.
TOM: In tragic nose-picking accidents.
Men and
women would use such clippers in greater number if smooth
cuts were produced.
MIKE: Because if there's one thing men are looking for, it's improved nail-trimming smoothness technology.
Now that the bathing season is here again
CROW: o/` Bathing season is here again! The skies above are clear again! o/`
we are
reminded that the ladies still want a leakproof cap which
will not be so tight as to stop, or interfere with the
circulation of blood,
TOM: Your hair is your body's largest consumer of blood!
but will, at the same time prevent
any water from seeping through. This invention, without
exaggeration, would be worth at least $500,000.
MIKE: Aw, forget it, man, I won't do it for less than five hundred thousand, two hundred seventy-five dollars.
Now that pianos are becoming popular again,
manufacturers could use a moth-proof substitute for the
felt on the hammers, etc.
CROW: Etc?
MIKE: You know, like a wallaby-proof substitute for the keys.
TOM: Or a dinosaur-proof substitute for the legs.
The inventor of a really sanitary pillow
MIKE: I'm not talking your ordinary sanitary pillow. I'm talking about something that's *so* sanitary it makes even the idea of dirtiness seem clean.
permitting a large volume of air to circulate through it
and, at the same time, soft and comfortable, would be a
fortunate person.
CROW: A person who naps in a superior manner.
Rubber as a material is ruled out.
TOM: People get all weird about it.
Such pillows, unlike the pillows of today, should be
MIKE: A washable pillow? Why not dream about flying cars and computers that fit in your phone while you're at it?
TOM: Yeah, let's blow this popsicle stand.
CROW: The man who invented a self-blowing popsicle stand ...
MIKE: Let's let that thought end right there, shall we?

[ OUR HEROES file out. ]

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Thank you for reading all this. ``What To
Invent'' was written by Raymond Francis Yates, who would
go on to write a book listing a couple thousand needed
inventions, some of which would still make life
reasonably better, so if you can think of one, please do.
Many more of the things have already been thought of
since the late 30s, so don't go hurrying on your
typewriter improvements just now, please. The article is
either Yates's or else Modern Mechanix's property and is
used here just to be amusing. Mystery Science Theater
3000 and its characters and schtick aren't mine either,
but the actual writing of the making fun of this was done
by Joseph Nebus, who hopes you liked it. Enjoy your own
inventive nature, please.
But what is wrong with shoe polish?
http://nebusresearch.wordpress.com/ Joseph Nebus
Latest: CarnotCycle on the Gibbs-Helmholtz Equation http://wp.me/p1RYhY-wu
2014-01-16 08:07:23 UTC
On Tuesday, December 31, 2013 12:27:47 AM UTC-6, Joseph Nebus wrote:

I had to jump to Google to even see this post. (Stupid AIOE. What have you got against MSTings?) A bit late, but i just wanted to show my appreciation for others keeping traditional MSTings - rather than mere "sporkings" - alive. Well done, sir. Hopefully, I'll have something to contribute soon.