Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Inventor

There are a lot of cool inventions out there. The iPod, for example, while totally expensive, is a great resource for a commuter like me. When I'm walking around on the street, I can turn it on and drown out the sounds of horns honking, people yelling at each other, and the guy who wears a sandwich board with his "predictions" printed on it and walks around with a megaphone claiming that the world is going to end and that the aliens are trying to communicate with us through our debit cards.

I've never really tried to invent anything on my own, though I do have a few ideas. For example, while I can understand the need for car alarms, I've found that they come with several problems. People in the city don't typically have driveways; they either park their cars in the street or in parking garages. So if their car alarm goes off, they could be blocks away and not hear it.

Many of them have installed the kind of alarm that emits several different-sounding alarms, aka How to Annoy Strangers without Even Trying, so the sound goes something like this: "WOOOOEEEEWOOOEEEWOOO.....BAMBAMBAMBAM...BEEEPBEEEPBEEEP....WOOOOEEEWOOOOEEEWOOO...." The alarms can go on for several minutes or hours, to the point that people like me who are subjected to listening to it are banging on the windows of their apartments and screaming, "Enough with the madness already!"

That's why I think that the car alarm should be modified, so that if your alarm goes off, your keychain starts lighting up (or have they invented that already?). Better yet, they should somehow find a way to put a tiny fist inside of the key chain, so that when the alarm goes off and the person fails to turn it off right away, the fist will come out of the chain, magically grow into a giant fist, and knock him out.

I've complained in more than one post about how some of my neighbors love their music SO MUCH that they believe that the entire building should listen to it. So they blast their music at top volume for hours, no matter what time of day it is. I think that there should somehow be a volume limit to music players, so that if the volume gets too high the volume will automatically be lowered, and then the song will switch from the death metal that my neighbors love so much to Kenny G, and will be incapable of being switched back. Or turned off.

Several of my neighbors are also incredibly lazy and leave their trash lying around in the hallway rather than put it in the garbage chute or the dumpster outside; some of them don't even bother to bag their junk. (And that is why I have a bug problem in my apartment, and I'm trying to figure out a way to gather up all the bugs and set them loose in my neighbors' apartments.)

So I wish there was some way that if they tried to leave their trash on the floor again, the trash would somehow get stuck to their clothes, and it would be impossible to remove, and that even if they tried to take off their clothes, their skin would suddenly be covered with tattoos that say "Loser Neighbor" and "This is what laziness looks like". Or maybe the trash could somehow come to life and chase them down the hallway, out of the apartment building, across the city, and into Lake Michigan.

I saw an episode of Felicity a few years ago where the professor locked students out of the classroom if they showed up late. I can't do that, partly because I'd probably get in trouble but mainly because there aren't any locks on the classroom doors.

But when students show up twenty, thirty, or even forty minutes late, despite my warnings about their grades being lowered, I start wishing for some kind of invisible force field that would spring up in the classroom doorway, so that if they tried to get in the room they would be blocked from doing so. And then they would get sucked into a parallel dimension where the only way to find their way back would be by doing all the assignments they haven't completed or turned in on time in my class, which means they'd be stuck in that parallel dimension forever.

The question, though, is how to invent all of these things. But don't worry. I'm working on it.

By the way, Allie Howell gave me the Blog with Substance award a couple months ago, but I never thanked her! Sorry about that Allie! But thank you so much for the award! And check out her blog, You're only as tall as your heart will let you be.


  1. Car alarms. Ugh! When I first got married in 1994 and lived in NYC, most cars would go on for HOURS. Once, an officer came and disconnected the alarm and the neighborhood cheered.

    Newer cars are usually better.

    The closer we live together, the more we annoy one another. My next door neighbors used to leave their garbage cans open. It was an open invitation to rats.

    You should be able to kick students out who are that late. It's crazy!

  2. Please please PLEASE come up for something for car alarms! I live in a borough with the highest incidence of car burglaries, and there are alarms going off ALL THE TIME! It does my head in!

  3. Hi Theresa,
    I've been seeing rats around my building lately, and I think they've mutated into giant monster rats. I blame my neighbors.
    I've told students not to come to class that late, but they always have an excuse. Of course.

    Hi Talli,
    I think the alarms going off in my neighborhood aren't because of burglaries but might be caused by drunk people bumping into the cars.