Science can be a dirty, unforgiving game that takes no prisoners (…except in the case of animal testing, of course!) and I just have to hand it to the people behind the scenes who continue to make it all happen. These men in white lab coats team over hot stoves for countless hours each and every day, each with the simple common goal of coming up with the latest neat little gadget that just might make our lives a bit easier. Sometimes, such as in the case of the portable electric weasel shaver, these inventions flop horribly, labeling their creator as a complete and total wacko for the rest of his embarrassingly lonely life (…come on, man – shaving weasels?! What were you thinking?). Nevertheless, occasionally a true genius manages to slip his way through the red tape of the patent office and bring us a work of science that revolutionizes the way we live our very lives…
Obviously, it’s not an easy task to choose from the literally millions and millions of inventions out there and find the very best of the best…especially after I’ve been hopped up on these antihistamines all day! Headaches and profuse sweating aside, however, I do feel that it is important that a few of these great additions to humanity reap at least a portion of the recognition, but the following list was the best that I could come up with on such short notice. I’m sure you’ll find many of my selections the same as your own, and maybe even come across a new found appreciation for some others, too.
Just keep in mind that the inventors behind the amazing wonders listed below gave up any hope of ever having a social life just so that you wouldn’t have to get up off your lazy ass to change the channel…and that’s commitment!
10. The Whoopee Cushion / Rubber Chicken (TIE)
Proudly taking up space in every real comedian’s arsenal, the whoopee cushion is by far the most popular prop of all time because let’s face it – farting is hilarious! It all dates back to that rowdier-than-normal Thursday in Miss Hoover’s 7th grade class when the substitute teacher was called to fill-in and thus became the target of every practical joke in the arsenal, from frogs in her desk drawers and water pistols when she had her back turned…and of course, the illustrious whoopee cushion…
Taking a place to close to even call second, the rubber chicken has just always been cool – no one really knows why and we stopped questioning it a long time ago, so just accept it!
9. The Couch
I won’t lie to you – I spend a lot of time using this particular invention and frankly, I don’t see how society could’ve possibly existed before it came along! Easily the most multi-functional piece of furniture in the entire house, the couch covers anything you could possibly want to be doing indoors – sitting, reclining, sleeping, doing the nasty thing *wink wink*. Next to a big-screen TV, the couch is without a doubt the most important purchase ever made for a new home, so choose wisely and always show it much respect! Remember those friends of yours who had that huge wine stain right in the middle of their sofa? There’s a reason you don’t associate with them anymore…
8. The Flask
Easily most famous for sprucing up the old office Christmas parties, as well as making family reunions and other social gatherings bearable in the first place, the flask has been included amongst my top ten here today because it helps keep me sane! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been able to turn to my shiny, alcohol-bearing friend to help take the edge off before meeting with an important client, or even more eminently, my boss.
Maybe I’ve said too much…
7. Meat on a Stick
Originating from the carnival-scene and eventually progressing into the world phenomenon that it has become today, meat on a stick isn’t just a tasty snack to enjoy while perusing your local community fair; it’s a cultural icon! Combining the nutritional values found in the best of deep-fried foods with our latest stick technology, this mammoth innovation allows us to enjoy hotdogs, bacon, and even porterhouse steak anywhere at anytime, thus providing us with more time to appreciate the finer things in life, such as happy hour and the ring toss.
6. The Day Off
We all have those days when we just can’t take it anymore and it becomes apparent that someone’s going to get hurt if you have to respond to one more question like, “Do you have anything with soy in it?” or “Why doesn’t Red Lobster have steak?” Luckily for all of us, however, somebody out there finally realized that much of this very stress could easily be relieved by simply giving us a damn break once in a while, and thus the day off was created!
Granted, those in upper-management who gave us this gift in the first place now seem to exercise it more than anyone else, but some may even argue that a vacation day for the boss is almost just as good as a vacation day for the rest of us, anyways…
Great for making things really far away appear to be much closer than they actually are (…or will probably ever be!), binoculars serve a very important purpose to modern society, and not just through the eyes of the peeping Tom! Unfortunately, I have absolutely no idea what this purpose might be, but I do know that my friends and I sure appreciated having a pair of these babies around the house during our youthful, teenage years when the neighbor’s sixteen-year-old daughter with the golden blond hair and the legs that just seemed to go on forever would spend her summers sun-bathing out on the back porch…in the nude.
It’s those kinds of memories which will stick with me until the day I die!
4. The Waterbed
The ‘80s will never die in our hearts! It’s a common fact that the waterbed played an essential role in the sleeping quarters of the above-average ladies’ man way back in the days of pink martinis and parachute pants, paving the road ahead for itself to eventually become the largest home-decorating err-of-judgment since shag carpeting. Whether it was simply the lust of the times or because it was nearly impossible to get up from one once you’ve laid down, the aquatic dreamer earns a spot in my top ten for its ability to help my kind score in ways we’d previously believed to be ergonomically impossible!
“It’s just like sleeping on water…including the seasickness!”
Portable, delicious, and most important of all, easily hidden in one’s pocket to avoid sharing when friends stop by unexpectedly, the cookie not only boasts a solid number three on my list of greatest inventions, but quite possibly holds the coveted spot at the very top of my list of all-time greatest desserts as well! Think about it – cookies go with just about any meal (including breakfast, regardless of what your parents told you!), their ingredients can be altered to satisfy even the pickiest of dessert connoisseurs, and of course, they’re good for you, too*!
* – I made that part up, but who’s counting?
2. The Internet
Ahhh – the Internet! Whether you’re into politics, porn, writing humor columns, or any combination of the three, there’s no community that’s got you covered quite like the Internet – thank you, Al Gore! This network, once devoted to top-secret military communications, now makes it possible for 48-year-old men to chat with young, impressionable, underage girls from all around the world, but don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of positive and wholesome aspects to the ‘net, too…I think.
This could’ve very easily taken the top position, except for one other little device…
1. The Remote Control
And here we have it – truly the greatest invention of all-time – the remote control. If ever an instrument has been created to harbor to the needs of the laziest of the lazy, it certainly couldn’t have come a moment too soon! Sure, that stereo might be on the other side of the room, but don’t think that you’re going to have to listen to the likes of Christina Aguilera and Eminem just because you’ve already got a comfortable spot on the couch! Just one click of a button changes pop music to modern rock, Jenny Jones to Jerry Springer, even HBO to Skin-a-Max, providing the much needed relief that would’ve once before only came from actually getting up and doing things by hand.