Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Best Shallow Inventions Ever

Just in case you were not aware, I really like lists. I have been a list-maker for as long as I can remember. As I’m sure you can imagine, part of the beauty of a list is in checking things off the list.

Sometimes I will add already-completed items to a “To Do” list just so I can have the self-satisfaction of checking them off. Don’t judge.

In keeping with my ideal of shallowness, these are simply a few things which I think are fantabulous (yes, that's a word) and have enhanced the meaninglessness and shallowness of my life. OK, I know my life’s not meaningless…I was getting all apocalyptic on you there…the Mayans must have gotten to me there for a moment.

As you and I well know, there are too many truly great inventions for me to delve into all that.  It makes me think too much, if nothing else. Please understand, none of these items have been/are/will be majorly life-changing; they don’t save lives or contribute to society on any real level.

With all that build up, here they are, in no particular order:
  1. Gorilla Glue…this stuff can hold any two items together without fail. My fingers included. I would assume, of course…I would never get that stuff on one finger (the bottle clearly states not to allow it to come into contact with skin), let alone two…and I ESPECIALLY wouldn’t put my fingers together if I did. You must be judicious, however, when applying it. The theory of “A little is good; a lot is better” does not hold true when using this stuff. “A lot” makes a big mess and usually oozes out the sides of whatever you’re gluing into place.  Just a word to the wise. And also just an assumption…maybe.
  2. Gift bags…I love giving gifts but I hate to wrap them.  I have hated wrapping gifts for as long as I can remember. My friend CS wrapped gifts at a major department store when she was in high school. (There’s a job that has fallen by the way-side, right? She’s a doctor now, so I don’t think it’s affected her too much.) When we were in college, she tried more than once, to teach me how to wrap a gift so it would be nice and neat. Apparently lots of tape is the key. But I’ll be the first to admit that the amount of tape I used made no difference in how well- or how poorly-wrapped my gifts were.  I will freely admit that I have done the PBA a disservice by not forcing them to wrap gifts. I did have them wrap one another’s Christmas gifts this year, which was an exercise in my patience. (I also made them buy for one another from their own money…and surprisingly it went over well.). Anyway…I still hate wrapping gifts, so I love whoever was the first one to think up the gift bag. And I’m not a total slacker; I HAVE taught the PBA how to fluff the tissue paper in order to make the gift bags look a little nicer. But only one of them has the appropriate “wrist flick” down. I could not be prouder of him. So all that to say, enter the gift bag and voila: I can wrap a gift and it not look like a train wreck. Fantastic.
  3. Coffee…I mean who first saw a coffee bean and thought, “Hey, I’m going to roast this over a fire, and then grind it up and pour really hot water over it. And then I’m going to drink it. But not the little pieces of the bean…just the liquid residue.” I am thankful for you, random person whose name I shall never know. You took those first steps to begin the path toward inventing one of the best.drinks.ever. I’m certain that the founder of Starbucks thanks you as well. I’d like to think my thank you means more, because I’m not profiting from it. Just sayin’.
  4. Sharpies…marking on anything and it being on there FOREVER. How can that NOT be awesome? Unless, of course, you mistake a Sharpie for a dry-erase marker…and expect that whatever it was you wrote on the board will come off. But it will not. That’s not awesome. Otherwise these things are wonderful. BTW, have you seen the new ones with glitter? I had not until my friend SV introduced….SV, go on out there and take a little bow. 
  5. Ziploc bags…there’s so many uses for a Ziploc bag, I can’t even go into it all now…not enough caffeine yet apparently. And no, I am not brand loyal…it’s just what I call all bags that seal with that little zipper-like thing at the top.  Much like all facial tissue is “Kleenex”…I’m sure you know what I mean. Yes, there definitely is a difference in quality but there is also a difference in price. As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, I’m usually going to error on the side of lowest price. And sometimes that is an error, because with most things, you get what you pay for. Just a PSA for you in case you didn’t know that.
  6. DVR…we can never seem to be home when those oh-so-important shows we want to watch are on. I could never figure out how to use the VCR, but for the record, Mr. Always Random and Usually Shallow was there to take care of it in my hour of need…or hours of need…I had a lot of shows I needed recorded. This brings me, however, to the DVR. I am thankful that the DVR can record things for me so I/we can watch them whenever we want. I even know how to set it up. And so do the PBA…we’ve recorded many additional shows once they figured it out. Oops. Parental locks, what? Granted, using the DVR means missing all those potentially fantastic commercials, but I am willing to do that in order to get through a couple shows in an evening…and in less time.
  7. Mini Candy Bars…same great flavor as the Fun Size and Full Size, but there aren’t ANY calories in those mini ones…I’m certain of it. You can eat as many as would equal a Fun size or a Full size, and the calories just flitter away. Never to be seen again. It is like magic. It might have something to do with all the calories burned up in the process of opening all the packages…those things aren’t always the easiest to open. This might be in the running for Best.Invention.Ever….and I don’t even mean just the shallow one.
  8. Febreze Fabric Refresher…I don’t think we stink but there’s always that fear in the back of my mind. This invention gives me confidence that I can spray myself, I mean my clothes, or my house or furniture (just the upholstered pieces, of course…I think the wood gets a little slippery when this stuff gets on it.), and I can have the confidence that it will probably take care of any undesirable funk. Or, at the very least, it will smell as though we tried to clean the funk. We may smell like a combination of funk and cleaner, but that shows effort to de-funkify, right? (Yes, de-funkify is a word, I’m sure of it. You know what I mean, don’t you? I’ll be contacting Webster’s on it momentarily…as soon as I finish this post).
  9. Downy Wrinkle Release…I don’t iron, nor do I intentionally purchase clothing which needs to be ironed. Mr. Always Random and Usually Shallow manages any ironing needing to be done in our house. Yes, ladies, he’s a keeper.  For many reasons, but laundry folder and clothes ironer is pretty high up on the list. I know you’re jealous, but try to contain yourselves. But, if for some reason I have not planned out my clothes accordingly (I try not to ask him to iron something right when I need it…I try to plan it out at least a day or two in advance), and I need something ironed tout suite, I typically will whip out my Downy Wrinkle Release. Yes, it works pretty well, especially in a pinch. And it also has a pleasing scent…so in a way it can act like the Febreze Fabric Refresher to boot. Fantastic. I will caution you that this stuff is not nearly as efficient as an iron, but it will do in a pinch. And I especially like it because as we all well-know, things which need ironed are usually a wrinkled mess by the time we get to where we’re going anyway, especially if we’ve been buckled into a car for any real length of time. So if I’ve only used my Downy Wrinkle Release, I know I have wasted a bunch of time in ironing something which looks bad anyway.
  10. Spanx…need I really explain why this stuff is great? I think not. If you've ever tried it, you understand it needs no explanation.

One last thing before I wrap this up. There is one item that some people tout as a great invention but with which I take issue: sliced bread.

I think it’s totally over-rated. There’s nothing better than making a two-pound loaf of French bread in a bread machine (which a bread machine should be #11 on my list of Best Shallow Inventions Ever…just so you know; you dump in the ingredients, hit a couple buttons, and voila: in just under 4 hours, you have fresh bread…how can you beat that?!?)…but I digress. I was explaining why sliced bread is over-rated: while the fresh bread is still warm (you can’t slice warm bread – it has to cool off first…I am a trained professional in this area...don’t question me please), sitting at the counter with it, some REAL butter, and a knife. And a napkin or two…the butter is really melty on hot bread and it can make quite a mess if you’re not careful. You really can’t beat that.

Not that I would sit there and do such a thing…I’m simply saying there’s probably nothing better. I’m guessing. 

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