“That’s where the guy who invented the windshield wipers lives,” we’d all say on our way to the T.O. Mall. I never saw the guy, assuming it was a guy who invented what now seems obvious: automated and opposing squeegees. I wondered if he let the invention get to his head.
“The man who invented the windshield wipers can be such a jerk,” his over-worked employees would say. He’d overhear them and ask, “do we see in the rain?” He would pivot his head like the wipers, from shoulder to shoulder, and then ask again. “Do we? Hunh?” Then he’d point at the worker with his head down and ask, “how about you? Hunh, you see in the rain on your way to work today?” They would all go back to work and pray for a drought.
|A Hippy Tree: Finally a label I can support.|
Why the thought? I was in a bad mood and I saw windshield wipers on a pair of Mercedes headlights. That used to make me giggle, but not today. I sighed, and if wondered if the man in the mansion that we used to drive by got a piece of those sales, too.
I envied inventors of things used as other things. Duct tape as a wallet, not penicillin, but nonetheless a brilliant thing. And then I thought about accidental inventions and I thought about the slinky. I sulked in my memory since I had the fluorescent plastic version that usually made it about half-way down the stairs and then rolled the rest of the way down. I always wanted a cool metal slinky. A slinky that worked.
I realized I was sulking about a slinky, and it must have been the jet-lag again. I cheered myself up with a thought about the guy who invented the t-shirt tag, also a resident that lived on the way to the T.O. Mall, presumably a guy, and a heartless S.O.B. who rhetorically asked his nonperforming employees, “do we know what temperature to wash our shirts in?” We would drive by his house and I would think, now that is just not fair. It is a tag, and that man is rich.
A tag that says machine wash and made in china put that man in that house? But he had a patent, you see. Aha, but not so fast my friend. Times changed, and so did my mood. You see, most t-shirts now silk-screen the label right there on the inside of the organic shirt, right where the traditional label used to be.
An organic ending to the game of tag. Rome fell, and I wondered if the man who invented the tag had to downsize to an apartment on the way to the Janss Mall. I wondered if the wiper man saw profits fall when Rain-Ex came out. The thought made me smile, at least until I realized that the men probably worked at a Capital Fund and never invented a thing in their lives.
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