The wheel. The light bulb. Big Mouth Billy Bass. Great inventions inspire awe, while providing comfort and convenience to the masses. Other inventions inspire second-hand embarrassment and provide a window into the dark souls of the men who created them. In an extended compilation from his Daily Nooner, blogger Ross Wolinsky counts down 10 pieces of irrefutable proof that at least one clerk from the patent office comes to work stoned every day.
#10. The Flatulence Deodorizer
Filed in April 2000, the flatulence deodorizer "discloses a pad to be worn by a user for absorbing gas due to flatulence."This drawing pretty much sums up the problem: You're at the airport, waiting for your luggage in your favorite "Z" jacket, when suddenly you find yourself emitting odors so foul they require stink lines to be properly illustrated.
If you can get past the I'm-basically-wearing-a-weird-diaper-for-farts factor, this invention is actually a pretty good idea. Or it would be, we guess, if you're like the people in the testimonials on Flat-D.com. Those peoples' lives have been completely ruined by farts. A quick sampler:
"Your product has really helped me in the cramped space of my cockpit. I would sometimes notice the other guys using their mask to get some fresh oxygen ... When I feel the urge I usually quickly install it thru the back of my pants. Then I do not have to worry. It also does a nice job muffling the noise."
"On September 14th mom will be 78 years old, and that's why I'd like to take her to Hawaii ... I've traveled there twice, but she never has because of her flatulence problems."
#9. Method And Device For Recognition of a Collision With a Pedestrian
The days of plowing your car into things and not knowing whether or not it was a living person are finally over!This patent, which uses sensors in the car's bumper and engine hood, claims to be able to decide "with a high reliability" if that thing you hit was a pedestrian! It also takes into consideration changes in acceleration and whether or not the brakes were used prior to impact to figure it out.
Sounds like a pretty smart system to us. With that in mind, here's a little suggestion for the inventors: When you guys roll out the next version of this thing, maybe it'd be better if it actually PREVENTED the collision. That would probably make it slightly more useful. As it stands, all this really does is keep a tally of how many vehicular homicides you've committed.
#8. Animal Ear Protectors
Do you have a dog with long, floppy ears, and if so, do you give it food? And if you give it food, is it always getting its long, floppy ears covered in the food that you give it? Is this actually a serious problem that you have to deal with? If so, you should write a letter to your local pet accessory manufacturer and let them know about US Patent #4233942.
Then again, if this is a legitimate concern for you, you might also ask yourself, "What's wrong with my dog? Why can't it clean the excess food off its ears?" Or maybe, alternatively, "Will my dog look any less dumb walking around with these stupid tubes around its ears than it would with crusted-up dog food all over itself?" Then maybe, finally, "Why do I even own a dog? I don't have time to deal with this bullshit."
#7. Jet Powered Surfboard
To be honest, a jet powered surfboard isn't really pointless at all. Say you're out in the Pacific carving a SICK pipeline and a shark creeps up on you. On a normal board, you'd be like "bummer," but on a jet powered board, it'd be more like "no problemo!"
Also, just think of the cinematic possibilities that jet powered surfboards would open up. If they ever end up doing that long-awaited Point Break sequel, can you imagine the chase scenes they could pull?! They'd make the hoverboard sequence from Back To The Future II look like a big pile of shit.
So yeah, it'd be great if these were commercially available, but they should probably come with one of those body counter devices from invention # 9 because jet powered surf boards would almost certainly kill hundreds (if not thousands) of people every year. Of course, these would be people who could enter the afterlife knowing they had died the most awesome death possible.
#6. System For Magnetically Attaching Templeless Eyewear to a Person
For the uninitiated, "temples" are the little arms on eyeglasses that go behind your ears to hold them on your face. According to this patent, temples "cause discomfort to the wearer ... and can even cause permanent creases in the wearer's head." Rather than go to his optometrist and get his glasses adjusted, inventor David Peschel decided to go the extra mile and waste years of his life solving a nonexistent problem.
Here's the thing, though: Judging by the illustration, this system requires you to surgically remove your ears and replace them with magnetic rings. That seems a little drastic, particularly when you consider the fact that GLASSES REALLY AREN'T THAT UNCOMFORTABLE.
OK, upon closer examination, it turns out the system works by sticking adhesive magnets to the sides of your head. In a way, that might actually be worse than surgically removing your own ears. At least people without ears are capable of dignity.