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Friday, April 13, 2012

Credit Where Credit is Due (Cash Only, Please!)

I'm what people call an idea man. Ideas fall off of me like leaves from a tree in autumn except that you don’t have to wait three whole seasons for the leaves to grow back and then fall off again as my ideas keep coming like an evergreen tree which really doesn’t have leaves unless needles are leaves but I think you get the point. After a run-on sentence you need to take a deep breath…run-on sentences and deep breaths are my ideas, both of them.  I am always thinking of new and exciting things. Exciting can be synonymous with dangerous but you sometimes never find out until you try something once...or twice assuming you survive the first time.  No one suspected that shoving a broom handle in the spokes of your bike wheel for the purposes of braking could present certain challenges to the safety of the rider when traveling at 50 kilometers an hour down a steep hill, but at least now we have answered that mystery. I’m not saying that all my ideas are good, just that I have a lot of them and for most I have received no credit or monetary recompense.

Everyone has heard of the rule that pizzas are free unless they are delivered in 30 minutes or less. I came up with that concept. Granted, I was working for the Detroit coroner’s office at the time and the notion of getting death certificates in 30 minutes or less oddly didn’t gain much popularity, but this same idea took the pizza delivery world by storm.  I haven’t received so much as a free order of cinnamon sticks for my brilliant idea.

If you read the instructions on a bottle of shampoo you’ll noticed that it says “Lather, rinse, and repeat.”  That whole “repeat” thing was my idea for which I received a boatload of cash. Unfortunately, I lost that and a lot more from subsequent legal battles after I put this same “repeat” instruction on a line of handguns I manufactured. Maybe I should mention that this rather stylish line of pistols were of a rather high caliber.

It was yours truly who came up with a numeric system for describing human elimination procedures; the old and very familiar #1 and #2.  For decades now this simple numerical hierarchy system has insured that two people wishing to use the same restroom at the same time have some kind of order as to who enters first, which would be #1, of course, unless they happen to be on holiday in Mexico in which case #2 trumps #1. Although I hold the patent on this procedure, I haven’t been able to turn even a modest profit. I have accepted my fate and I don’t waste time thinking about water—or other liquids or solids—under the bridge.
How was I to know that when I coined the phrase “The best things in life are free” it would come back to bite me on the ass?  I didn’t mean the stuff I came up with should be free; I was talking about stuff you download or that bag of groceries I got when the guy next to me on the bus fell asleep and missed his stop.

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