Sunday, 21 July 2013

May the fourth (post) be with you

After my last entry I put out a request to my Facebook friends asking them to decide on the subject of this post.  The choice was between stupid inventions or the debate on Republic versus Monarchy for Great Britain.  The result was very close but eventually came down on the side of Republic versus Monarchy, so here goes......
Republic or Monarchy
George Bush or an expensive tourist attraction, you decide.
So now that's out of the way let’s discuss stupid inventions shall we?
Before I get complaints I would just like to define what I mean by 'invention'. In this instance an invention would be anything that didn't exist at one point in history but now does.  This could have been invented, created, evolved, appeared by magic or supplied by aliens and I'll leave you, dear reader to categorise the following 'inventions' for yourselves.
There are any number of stupid inventions in this world, ranging from potpourri to The X Factor, from war to Michael Gove (he was definitely supplied by aliens) but I have chosen to describe all those inventions that aren't stupid in the conventional sense but do need highlighting.
The end of Bell (or Bellend)
Stupidity is not a modern phenomenon, as proved by the invention of the first telephone. “Are you mad? The telephone was an invention of pure genius” I hear you say. But the key to this is the word 'first'.  Now I imagine Alexander Graham Bell was overjoyed at creating the first telephone and I can also imagine his exclamation, 'Look, I've invented the telephone, I must phone mother to tell her the good news'.  Then the realisation dawning that no one else had a phone.
So based on this I consider the 'first' telephone to be a stupid invention. The invention of the second telephone however.......that was genius.
As a slight aside I've always been uncomfortable with the history of the telephone and in particular the introduction of STD calls.  This raises the question - did the invention of the telephone result in an increase in the number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases?
Toilets uncovered
More modern inventions have also contributed to the stupidity list.
As is well publicised, the western world is blighted by the curse of obesity and it would be easy to lay blame at the swollen ankles of the suffering individuals. Of course there is some justification in this but you could also argue - and I will - that a number of modern inventions are not helping to reverse the tide of flab.  One such creation is the slow closing toilet seat. If you are not aware of this device it looks like a standard toilet seat but can be closed with a flick of the wrist and you can happily walk away as it gently floats down to the bowl.
Why?  Why would anyone consider this a necessity other than to avoid moving your arm a whole 1 1/2 feet from cistern to bowl.  And this is where these kind of inventions do nothing to help the obese.  If you're not even getting exercise by closing a toilet seat what hope have you got.
Risk assessment
If you read my first Blog post, 'Health, Safety and Hedge Porn', you could be forgiven for thinking that I am opposed to all things categorised as 'Health and Safety', however this is not the case.  I do dislike the 'sledge-hammer to crack a nut' approach to most risks but there are some hazards that are a clear and present danger and should have suitable mitigation.
One such risk is the fire hazard generated by the invention of polyester leggings and in particular the leggings worn by extremely large women.  As these particular females waddle down the road - often supporting themselves on the back of a Poundland shopping bag laden buggy, affording them the ability to waddle and chain smoke as they go - the heat generated by their fat thighs rubbing together must be immense.  That, coupled with the flammability of polyester, surely increases the risk of bush fires.  As a health risk, fat women in leggings also don't help by inducing sudden and violent vomiting.
To add a little balance to this argument it is not just the large ladies who provide a health risk in their leggings.  It is equally dangerous for perfectly formed buttocks and shapely legs to be displayed in leggings in a public place for risk of passing motorists being distracted and crashing into the car in front.   So please ladies, think on.
Not fit for purpose
All of the above must be classed as particularly stupid inventions, however one of the highest accolades must go to the modern gymnasium.  These places, full of torture machines and sweaty, testosterone pumped bodies are proof that, if you market a stupid invention well enough, there are plenty of gullible fools out there willing to part with their hard earned cash for the privilege of participating.
Consider the evidence.  Gyms contain running machines, cycling machines, rowing machines and a variety of weights, the use of which can be subscribed to for an exorbitant fee.
This stupidity can be counteracted by carrying out the following actions.
1) Find a river and go for a row in the fresh air - that's the rowing machine sorted.
2) Instead of getting in your comfortable car and driving, try running to the gym - the running machine is now redundant.
3) Buy yourself a push bike and ride to the gym - the cycling machine is now no longer needed.
4) Once at the gym, lie down in the reception area, pull out your wallet making sure the staff can see how much money it contains - due to the savings made by not subscribing to their gym - and bench press it at your leisure.
By following this advice you will have maintained your fitness levels and highlighted the pointlessness of these establishments - there is nothing you can do in a gym that you can't do outside.
Some will argue that there is a social element to attending a gym but - if you'll excuse me - this is bollocks.  For the well buffed, six-pack displaying, hard-core members it is a chance to show off their efforts - usually to themselves in the mirror.  For the newcomers their time is spent worrying that they are either so scrawny they don't so much have a six pack as a toast rack or alternatively so flabby that they can't see all of themselves in the mirror.  To me this is not a relaxing social situation but hell at a high price.
And the winner is
Regardless of the above no invention can be criticised more than testicles on the outside. Whoever decided that the most sensitive area of the male anatomy should be exposed to even the slightest of touches should be drawn through with rusty barbed wire, and if you're reading this I hope your next shit is a hedgehog.
The end is nigh
So in conclusion, we need to wise up and challenge the perceived wisdom of genius, ban polyester leggings for public health reasons and stop subscribing to unnecessary memberships (and this includes the magazines where you can collect parts to build a scale model of the Titanic in 400 monthly instalments priced at £4.99 - another crap invention)
Authors note: If you are offended by any of the points made in this post ask yourself the question "Why do I think he's talking about me?" and relax, it's only my opinion after all (I just happen to be right).

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