And now the conclusion Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment of Raymond Yates’s essay “What To Invent”. I’ll have something else next week, and it’ll probably be more MiSTings.
I have the nagging feeling that the riff about making “even the idea of dirtiness seem clean” is an attenuated Bill and Ted reference, but I’m not confident. This whole essay was fun to riff. I think I still have Yates’s book, which is something like a thousand inventions like this. If I can find it I should riff some of those.
This thing needed a host sketch for the conclusion, no doubt about that.
> The manufacturers of electrically operated ice
> boxes are looking for a simple mechanism to permit such
> boxes to defrost themselves within a minute’s time.
CROW: I have one that does it in 75 seconds?
MIKE: No! You have failed electrically operated ice box manufacturers worldwide! Hang your head in shame!
> A great many uses could be found for a
> self-closing cork to be applied to pop and other bottles.
TOM: Like … closing?
> Such a device should permit fluid to flow only when the
> bottle is inverted. A gadget of this kind would be very
> handy. It could be sold separately in the chain stores.
MIKE: It must be carefully guarded lest the secret fall into German hands!
> Millions of people in this country keep canary
TOM: Some of them have to be stool pigeons.
> The ordinary cage presents many hazzards and
> birds often hang themselves or otherwise meet with death
> in some of the “ornamental” boxes.
CROW: Suicidal canaries? Who gets them, the cast of _Funky Winkerbean_?
> What is needed is a
> safety cage—one that will make it impossible for
> accidents of any kind to happen.
TOM: Or you could just leave the canaries alone.
> Pocket nail clippers have never been really
> popular for the simple reason that one must use a file
> afterwards because a very rough edge is left.
CROW: Which kills thousands every year.
TOM: In tragic nose-picking accidents.
> Men and
> women would use such clippers in greater number if smooth
> cuts were produced.
MIKE: Because if there’s one thing men are looking for, it’s improved nail-trimming smoothness technology.
> Now that the bathing season is here again
CROW: o/` Bathing season is here again! The skies above are clear again! o/`
> we are
> reminded that the ladies still want a leakproof cap which
> will not be so tight as to stop, or interfere with the
> circulation of blood,
TOM: Your hair is your body’s largest consumer of blood!
> but will, at the same time prevent
> any water from seeping through. This invention, without
> exaggeration, would be worth at least $500,000.
MIKE: Aw, forget it, man, I won’t do it for less than five hundred thousand, two hundred seventy-five dollars.
> Now that pianos are becoming popular again,
> manufacturers could use a moth-proof substitute for the
> felt on the hammers, etc.
MIKE: You know, like a wallaby-proof substitute for the keys.
TOM: Or a dinosaur-proof substitute for the legs.
> The inventor of a really sanitary pillow
MIKE: I’m not talking your ordinary sanitary pillow. I’m talking about something that’s *so* sanitary it makes even the idea of dirtiness seem clean.
> permitting a large volume of air to circulate through it
> and, at the same time, soft and comfortable, would be a
> fortunate person.
CROW: A person who naps in a superior manner.
> Rubber as a material is ruled out.
TOM: People get all weird about it.
> Such pillows, unlike the pillows of today, should be
MIKE: A washable pillow? Why not dream about flying cars and computers that fit in your phone while you’re at it?
TOM: Yeah, let’s blow this popsicle stand.
CROW: The man who invented a self-blowing popsicle stand …
MIKE: Let’s let that thought end right there, shall we?
[ OUR HEROES file out. ]
\ | / \ | / \|/ ---o--- /|\ / | \ / | \
Thank you for reading all this. “What To Invent” was written by Raymond Francis Yates, who would go on to write a book listing a couple thousand needed inventions, some of which would still make life reasonably better, so if you can think of one, please do. Many more of the things have already been thought of
since the late 30s, so don’t go hurrying on your typewriter improvements just now, please. The article is either Yates’s or else Modern Mechanix’s property and is used here just to be amusing. Mystery Science Theater 3000 and its characters and schtick aren’t mine either, but the actual writing of the making fun of this was done by Joseph Nebus, who hopes you liked it. Enjoy your own inventive nature, please.
> But what is wrong with shoe polish?