Unneeded Contraptions of Everyday Life

Posted: May 11, 2013 in Tim Braun
Tags: , , , , , ,

Actually, if you think about it some may say that this blog is by its very definition an unneeded contraption of everyday life, and I think those people may be correct.  But today I’m going to focus on things that serve no purpose that I can think of, mixed in with a little dose of inventions that someone should never have made.

Before I introduce my first item up for general consumption – I just wanted to say that I fully realize that I’ve devoted an obscenely large number of blogs to sweet tea and plastic.  I don’t know why.  It seems that my life revolves around those items.  Maybe I should dedicate a blog to just that fact:  How similar are sweet tea and plastic and why do they always go together????  I’m sure it has something to do with monosodium glutamatedioxyde or some entertainingly fun chemical like that.


Lid of Fun

Anyway – my first item?  This sweet tea lid from McDonald’s.  First, take a look at the whiz-bangery of buttons and gadgets and slots and tabs.  I’m sure that they have a huge conglomeration of McAnalysts over at the McDonald’s headquarters (wouldn’t THAT be a dream place to work by the way….) who have analyzed and legitimized every little doo-hickey on there.  They’ve made the lid ‘fun’ in their mind.  They’ve made the lid ‘confusing’ in my mind.


Aerodynamic Tabs

The main feature I would point out on this contraption is the three tabs that stick out from the top of the lid.  My thought on these is that they may have been put there by some enterprising young McEngineer to aid wind flow at the drive through.  By streamlining the iced tea lids and having the tabs force the wind AROUND the cup, instead of OVER the cup, the counter to driver delivery ratio (commonly referred to as the C2DDR, or ‘Codder’ to McFans) has been cut from 0.00322kbst to 0.000428kbst – resulting in a cumulative 24-hour savings of 1.3 person-seconds per day.  This when extrapolated over the course of a year equals 7.9 minutes of time savings per McDonald’s drive through per year.  When you factor in the average McDonald’s worker’s hourly salary of $6.35/hr this brilliant invention pays for almost one full employee in the entire McDonald’s Empire.  Bravo to that brave McEngineer!  He has provided a job for the non-caring, non-bathing, non-shaving, non-speaking woman that served me at the last McDonald’s I was at.


Hole in One

 The next unneeded contraption that I came across was a zipper.  I’m fine with zippers as a whole – they are a good lot and do good work for civilization.  But why is there a hole in the tip of the zipper?  What possible purpose does that blank space serve?  To aid in finger grippage and grabbage?  To provide a handy place to tie your dog or hold your dental floss?  I need this question answered.  Because I have some shirts that DON’T have a hole in their zipper – it’s just a solid piece of metal/plastic.  What whacked, zany engineer came up with THAT improvement?  Or is it even an improvement?  Am I missing out on some amazing experience when I wear the shirts with the non-porous zipper?

Too many questions.  Too few answers.

Here are a few other inventions that have actually been patented and sold that I found interesting:


Ctrl/Alt/Delete Wand.  Obviously, to use this you would need the exact correct keyboard, you would need to have the wand near the computer, and you would have to reach for it when you get the blue screen of death.  All of that tells me that it couldn’t be LESS worth it.  Unless you only have one hand with two fingers on it – then it’s probably a life-saver.


Picnic Pants.  No, not a picnic IN your pants….just Picnic Pants.  To me, they are just looking like maternity clothes.  I don’t know how many of these were sold but I guarantee you they were only worn once – when the laughter subsided they went straight to the garbage.


Finally – Diet Water.  I have to give whomever came up with this the ultimate compliment, despite how ridiculous it sounds.  I can guarantee you that they sold a ton of these before the authorities raided the “factory” – i.e. the kitchen sink of a 2-bedroom flat in Islington.  Brilliant marketing and brilliant packaging.  Useless, but brilliant.

Please leave a comment if you know what the hole in the zipper or tabs on the sweet tea lid are for.  Until then, I will remain puzzled, annoyed, and perhaps even annoyingly puzzled.


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