It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention (a quote traced back to the ancient philosopher Frank Zappa), but invention’s grandmother is “I need some money.”
I remember reading about Thomas Edison and other great inventors and thinking how cool it would be to come up with something that would improve people’s quality of life and make me a kazillionare.
At my recent 30th high school reunion, I reconnected with Craig Fugglehorn, a rather strange buddy of mine who is super tech-savvy. His brilliance coupled with my vision will soon make us both rich.
Craig came up with an electronic device that when placed upon the skull cap of an animal can make it then be controlled with a remote. Now this may seem cruel, because . . . well . . . it is. We’ll worry about PETA backlash later.
My idea was to test his device on animals that would represent live action counterparts to classic animated Disney beasts. The remote would make them perform scenes from movies for use in a future Disney “Animation to Real Life” theme park. If it worked, we could sell it for a handsome or at least extremely cute profit.
I had originally suggested a flying elephant, but evidently those don’t exist (yet). We then settled on our second choice, creatures from “The Lion King.” As it happens, Craig collects exotic animals and owned a meerkat and lion cub. We had to capture a couple of wild warthogs, which we did at Allan Witt Park.
At the first test, we released “Timon” the meerkat and the device worked perfectly. Next we brought out “Poomba” the warthog and he started out well, but his center of gravity was quite different from Timon’s and he tripped, fell and crushed the meerkat. The catastrophe was compounded when I hit the button marked “kill” on Simba’s remote thinking it shut down the whole operation, but . . . well, let’s just say all was not Hakuna Matata.
We tried it again, but the squirrel we had to use for Timon took off over a fence. Then the second warthog turned out to be a female in heat which — who knew? — turned Simba into Pepe LePew (not a Disney character). While we abandoned the Disney project, we’re hoping to patent their offspring, the “lionhog.”
Then I realized that for the first time in my life I was overthinking something. Since everyone has a smartphone, we should simply make apps that no one has thought of, but everyone needs. I quickly made a list:
1. Samurai Sword: A real, telescoping Samurai sword crafted by Hattori Hanzo that would extend at the press of a button from the top of your phone. You never know when someone will ring your doorbell and have vengeance on their mind while really cool music plays behind them. Unfortunately, it didn’t work very well, except for as a backscratcher.
2. Juice Box: The straw worked fine but the phone inexplicably kept shorting out.
3. Hand Grenade: This worked perfectly, but we thought it’s one-time-use-only feature might potentially be considered a drawback.
We ex-nayed the apps, but I think that now Craig and I have struck gold.
Using parts from a Walkman, an old Razr phone, cotton balls and Karo syrup, Craig made a device that will revolutionize male and female communication.
The “What’d You Say? Communication Device” translates what women are saying so men can understand it and vice-versa. The device fits in both ears like wireless ear buds.
Say a woman comes home and rambles on for 20 straight minutes to her husband about what an awful day she had, going into minute detail and using comma after comma without taking a breath.
Our invention (I provided the Karo syrup) translates the blathering into what she is actually saying: “I need cuddling.”
Conversely, a man’s monosyllabic guttural grunt is translated into a loving, caring, emotionally connected statement that is several paragraphs long and filled with “I love yous” and other exquisite niceties.
However, if an impatient man scrunches up his face in frustration while his wife is blathering, he may need our Samurai sword/backscratcher.
Either way, we win!
Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at email@example.com.