Thursday, January 10, 2008

More Failed Inventions From the Patent Office

More Bad ideas
In an earlier post, we here at Goldmind's Unwind had dilligently dug through the U.S. Patent Offfice's scrap heap to present to you some of the greatest failed inventions of the last century or so. The time has come to revisit the topic, as "Bunny", the newly befriended patent office secretary, has emailed us several more selections for your scrutiny. Thank you very much "Bunny." For Everything. And I mean everything. Ahem.

The Cadet "Handicrapper"
The diligent researchers at Cadet, premier manufactures of the residential and commercial commode, thought that they had done their research. They had seen in their local supermarkets, malls, and other public gathering places the mobilized scooter for the handicapped individual. So, collectively, they got to thinking. If you aren't mobile without a scooter, what other problems might you have? That's right! Getting up and down to the restroom! Even handicapped people tinkle! Even handicapped people pinch a loaf! Why not spare every physically disadvantaged individual the difficulty of getting up and down. Of trekking to the porcelain God for relief! Why not motorize the crapper? Amazingly, in all this brilliant brainstorming, no one once thought to ask "what about non handicapped people?" Do you think they'll mind squeezing their melons and checking their eggs next to a strenuously grunting handicapped person giving birth to last night's pot roast while frozen in the middle of aisle three? So, alas, the prototype "handicrapper" was relegated to invention obscurity....

The Gratest invention.....
Not even marketing gurus can tell you why some companies choose to leave their field and venture into other revenue markets. This is what happened with Kraft food in the 80s. Apparently unsatisfied with their profit margins, exec's decided it was time to branch out. Explore new products. Like Children's playground equiptment.
At first, the "grate slide" was an inside joke among corporate executives. One comedian even went so far as to develop the plans for how such a slide was to be moulded and assembled. Those plans were then "accidentally" left on the desk of the product development manager who assumed it was his latest directive from CEO John Kraft. The prototype was assembled and installed in Central Park. Company researchers stayed behind with the slide to guage the reaction of the public. After 6 casualties and, not so coincidentally, 6 lawsuits, Kraft disassembled the slide and retired their idea in shame.

The Chia Bug
This from the "I can't believe it failed" department! Cha-cha-cha-chia! Come know owned a chia something. Or at least are related to someone else who did. Don't deny it! Well, with any such product, some brand loyalists actually became bonafide fanatics, and this product was for them! It was mail order only, as it had to be delivered by flatbed truck. The Chia bug was a lifesized frame of an actual Volkswagon Beetle. You slathered the frame with seeds, hosed it three times a week, and voila! Your yard became the redneck shrine of a lifetime! There is no obvious reason as to why this brilliant creation actually failed. It can only be surmised that neighborhood property values still hold sway over what is socially acceptable and what is not. Sniff! Phillistines!

KOA's "Campsite friend"
Isn't it amazing how many of our inventions have their roots in that greatest of rooms? That throne room of thought? That office of creation? Well the good folks at KOA campgrounds, who offer shelter to the RV driver as well as the tent camper, got tired of "unusual soil erosion" around the base of their trees. This mysterious erosion was creating a foul smell, killing foliage around the tree, weakening root systems, and proving to be an environmental hassle. But what could be causing this "erosion." Well...someone figured it out and in went the "campsite friend". Nailed to the trunk of the most "eroded" trees, the campside friend conveniently drained into the same septic system that RV drivers used to clean their mobile restrooms. It came complete with urinal cake and urine drenched cigarette butt for recognition purposes. Had to leave a "clinker" instead of a "tinkle"? Fine. On the other side of the tree was our friends at Cadet's contribution. The clinker bowl (not pictured here) also fed into the same septic line and had spacious seating for poopers up to 300lbs. Both products failed miserably though, because, as it turns out, the more a camper drinks, the less he gives a crap about proper bowel and urological etiquette. Go figure!
That's it for now folks! Stay tuned for any more contributions from "Bunny". And while you're at it, write a letter to Chia! We want the car back!