In these times when we are sufficiently technically advanced to land a wheelbarrow on Mars, there are a few inventions that I am surprised haven’t yet been developed.
How come, for example, we haven’t got digital duvets? By this I mean duvets that can change their cover pattern at the click of a button, thus saving all that body twisting and arm-wrenching. The importation of the duvet from our continental neighbours was heralded as the end of the boring bed making and hospital corners tucking of yore. Yet changing a duvet cover is the most infuriating and timewasting activity known to man…and yes, I have tried the inverted corners flip technique, to no avail.
And just how many hours of creative time are squandered in a lifetime of towelling-off after a bath or shower? Ever since I was a kid shivering in the freezing bathroom of our picturesque but uninsulated country cottage I have wracked my brains trying to invent a patent instant drier-offer. Come on, Mr Dyson! How about a giant step-through version of your bladeless fan? I won’t charge you much for the idea.
Next up, I want someone to devise a simple vandal-proof fold-down seat to be affixed to every bus stop that hasn’t got a shelter with benches. Since I got my bad knee I have found that repeatedly leaning on the bus stop has given me a bad shoulder. However, any amount of pain is better than the mockery that would result from using the so-called boon to knee sufferers that I recently spotted in a catalogue aimed at the over-sixties (after one’s sixtieth one gets inundated with these things, extolling the virtues of unisex in-car wee bottles and the like).
This particular item was one of those tartan shopping trollies (why are they always tartan?) beloved of a certain kind of belligerent supermarket goer, but with a built-in seat. Surely only a user with bird-like frailty could perch on such a thing with impunity? Either that or it would have to be so sturdy it would weigh a ton.
Who thinks of these things? Well, my friend’s grandfather had ‘Inventor’ as his declared profession. He patented an odour-free toilet with a built-in vacuum. It never caught on. People complained about draughts in the nether regions.