Home  -  Back Issues  -  The Team  -  Contact Us
    Volume 9 Issue 20| May 14, 2010|

 Cover Story
 Current Affairs
 One Off
 Food for Thought
 Star Diary
 Book Review
 Write to Mita

   SWM Home


When Creative, borders on Plain Absurd

Aasha Mehreen Amin

There is nothing more heartening than the innovative brains of the human species. It implies that humans will continue to strive to come up with new ways to combat unforeseen upheavals until the world ends for them. Sometimes in their thirst for creative expression they do get carried away.

Recently while reading about strange inventions I came across quite a few unusual items that may or may not be of real practical value. Take the Swiss army knife- toilet, so named because of all the gadgets that come out for various purposes, one of them even has a bathing shower attached, in case you are in a real hurry. There's the 'Hay Fever Hat' for those sufferers whose faces are scrunched up into a perpetual sneeze everytime the trees decide to spread their pollen. The hat is more like a helmet with- you'll never guess- a toilet paper roll holder on top! It may seem like a bizarre bathroom accident that left this contraption on your head but if you are an allergy freak always looking for a tissue, this may be just the thing. Plus you may also be of great help to others during their emergencies. There are also other rather thoughtful devices like the Backscratcher's T shirt that allows one to show the precise point of the itch through a touch sensitive device that corresponds to the point on a table printed on the back of the T shirt. So if you have an excruciating itch under your clavicle you scratch on say C3 and the rest is pure relief. For people who just can't keep their eyes open when travelling there's the Commuter's Helmet which allows for smooth snoozing. A suction cap keeps the helmet and hence head in place and a sign will say something like 'Please wake me up when I reach Farm Gate'. This is probably a little premature for our city where pickpockets and Aggyan Parties roam the streets; one may wake up with only the helmet on!

Reading about these things that are actually in the market makes one believe that even the most wild 'dream object' could become a reality some day when some crazy scientist, bored-to-the-point-of-insanity, decides to give it a shot. Here are some out of the ordinary, imaginary objects, all of which have some kind of utilitarian purpose.

The Dust Licker. This is a long time fantasy of mine and involves a tiny metal animal, a kind of robotic Chiwawa, that literally licks off every speck of dust it comes across with its metal mesh tongue. It will go through the crevices in your keyboard, the rims of your shampoo bottles, the top of your lampshades, the edges of painting frames every hard-to-reach place and leave it shining. It can even run through those clothes you have hanging since the 80s in the closet but are too scared to examine and make them completely dust free. Just be sure you don't have dust in your hair. Things could get complicated.

The Giggle Stopper. Some of us have a problem keeping a straight face when such sobriety is mandatory at a particular occasion, say a meeting or a funeral. Like a nervous twitch it is unpredictable and may hit you with vengeance the more you want the giggle to stop. The device will be attached to your stomach and lock your giggles the second they start to bubble. Short wave vibrations will have the necessary calming and hence sobering effect.

Mood changer. This is a slightly deceitful device since it aims to manipulate people's state of being, but only in a positive way. It is an invisible ray that is projected to the person whose mood you want to make better, from a miniscule little remote control, it could be a hairclip, a tie-clip, a locket, even an ear stud. Especially effective on bosses who may turn ballistic when you foul up at work. The ray will create an absurd aura of euphoria even when you have accidentally binned a collection of rare photos of a famous dead poet whose family has repeatedly requested that they be returned. The mood changer of course must be handled with care with very limited sales to 'exclusive' clientele.

The possibilities are of course endless and the imagination is like a wild beast set free. Everyone has their fantasy device. The latest one I have thought of is a beeper that will trace everything you can't find- car keys, combs, favourite lipstick, CDs, DVDs, scissors, TV remote control, even an elusive spouse.


Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2010