We as a people have come up with some truly innovative things in the past that have dramatically improved our lives. Yes, mankind at times rises above the bar and invents something that makes you do a double take. The Artificial Heart comes to mind. How many lives have been saved by Dr. Robert Jarvik and the many who have devoted their careers to this invention.  The modern computer. Anything digital, like cameras and watches. The flushing toilet (always a favourite in my heart, artificial or not). Tang.

Yet, while these and many other inventions are a boon to our success and evolution, there are a plethora of others that make me wonder, ‘How in heck are we still alive?’, either due to their redundancy, or perhaps their evil intent.

Nuclear energy, I think, will become more and more necessary as time goes by, and we use up our natural resources. So, nuclear energy is a good thing, right? Kind of…sort of. The atomic bomb, whose discoverers hailed in the atomic age, and which led to fear of epic proportions, not to mention a cold war that still reverberates around the globe, was where nuclear energy got its start. So, not so good.

The Shamwow. Really? Come on. As if we need some dude who looks like he’s hopped up on weed to tell us we absolutely need this product, or else our cars and other things will be streaked with rain. I say, let it streak!! My ancestors had birch-bark canoes, and often left them outside (well, actually, they always left them outside). You didn’t see them saying ‘Hey, Ted….your canoe looks awful….let’s skin that moose over there, dry its pelt, then use that to wipe off those embarrassing streaks!’ Good thing, too, because they had other things to do, such as preventing themselves from starving.

White underwear for men. I won’t get into the whole ‘white underwear for women’ thing because I’m a guy, and I want to keep my guy stuff for awhile longer. But, isn’t white underwear for men kind of an oxymoron? I know it’s a touchy subject, but shouldn’t our undies be black or brown, maybe even navy blue or forest green…for obvious reasons? I have never had white underwear that I could run around in with total confidence after I’ve had them on any longer than 15 minutes. We men are not meant to do this. We eat far too much junk…we get gassy. And don’t even get me started on thongs!!

The pet rock. That was a rip-off. Little did I know I had a yard full of these pets when I bought that one. The Clapper. This stupid invention, although useful, almost made me break my wrists when, in a fit of clapping to get the Christmas tree to light, I finally realized it wasn’t actually plugged in. HeadOn, that stupid headache commercial that went viral, sold like crazy, yet proved to be ineffective. Snuggies. I actually have one of these, but can you imagine…walking into a house where the whole family has one on? I guarantee you’ll be thinking it’s a cult, and you’d better start running!

The airbag is arguably one of the most important innovations in automobile safety. Many lives have been saved. But you tell that to an habitual nose-picker when the airbag goes off. `How did you break your finger AND your nose, Uncle Gerry? You had an airbag….oh.’

Velour pants. These pants that I have mentioned from time to time have left the mark on me forever. I still can’t figure out how the fashion industry even allowed someone to make these, and despite the fact that they actually fit me well, I still bear that incident like a cross.

Ronco used to be the masters at useless junk that we’d buy all the same. The Pocket Fisherman. Hair-In-A-Can spray. Mr. Microphone. I know a lot of you out there had that one. Cruising around in your dad’s Volkswagen, chatting up the ladies at the corner with your Mr. Microphone. Being the life of the party, singing over the stereo with the music playing. All cool and all. Well, I never had that one, but then I discovered karaoke*, SO THERE!!

*Please note, I didn’t include Karaoke on the ‘useless’ list. Karaoke, otherwise known as ‘the fine art of seduction and pleasure-ness’ was a wonderful invention, allowing the likes of myself and dozens of other people worldwide to break out our MoJo, and sing to the throngs of people too afraid to release the beast.*

There are plenty of other useless inventions, too numerous to mention here, that really make you think. We are wasting valuable resources, as well as hard-earned money, buying things that we don’t need. So, as I croon to you with my Mr. Microphone which I bought at the neighbour’s garage sale, running around in my tighty-wighties under my velour pants, be kind and try not to throw a pet rock at me…


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