Caution: Inventions in mirror are dumber than they may appear

By Mir
May 22, 2004

A top 10 from today, if you’ll indulge me….

1) Disappearing patterns on pull-ups. The point of these little gems is to motivate your child to stay dry all night. In the commercials, a small child appearing barely old enough to walk, much less scale the potty, runs triumphantly to mommy to display that the pull-up still bears the decorative print and Mommy wow, I’m a big kid now! The kid in the commercial has been wearing that pull-up for less than 10 seconds. I can attest that putting spaceships on the Buzz Lightyear pull-ups was really stupid, because a four-year-old boy will run triumphantly into your room in the morning to declare “Buzz wiped out all the evil alien ships!” Yeah. Buzz and the three glasses of water you sucked down at bedtime, buddy.

2) Children’s chewable vitamins in a variety of shapes and colors. Fun shapes! Bright colors! Fun to eat! Um, no. Fun to argue over, as in why-does-she-have-a-monkey-and-I-have-an-elephant and I-only-like-the-pink-ones and awwwww-I-had-a-lion-yesterday.

3) The Miracle-Gro sprayer attachment thingie for the hose. I may be dumb (no comments from the peanut gallery, please), but I’m not blind. The whole idea of this gizmo is that the perfect, proper amount of fertilizer is being mixed evenly into the spray, yes? Funny, that perfect amount turns the first 30 seconds of spray dark blue, progressively lightening for the next 30 seconds, and then for the rest of the watering session I’m just an idiot with a big stupid bottle nozzle attachment on my hose.

4) Milk in the light-block bottle. Precious vitamins can be leached out of the milk by dangerous light striking the plastic container. Oh my! Guess what? There are no vitamins in water, which is what we’ll be drinking with lunch when I buy the light-block bottle on sale and forget that since it’s not see-through, I can’t see when we run out.

5) Sneakers with velcro for little kids. Isn’t it great when they can be self-sufficient and get their own shoes on? Isn’t it somehow less great when they discover that they can stick the velcro to their socks, the carpet, their sister…?

6) Slip-on sneakers for children who always complain their shoes are too tight. I’m not naming any names, mind you. Just keep in mind that if a six-year-old stumbles on her way down the garage step, the resultant regaining of balance may end with one shoe outside the garage. And she will be laughing too hard to go retrieve it. And her brother may find this an excellent excuse to start throwing his shoes. You can do what you want; I’m just sayin’.

7) Cup-holder holes in the arms of movie theatre seats. Let’s face it: everyone knows those things are never quite the right size for your soda, anyway. They are, however, just the right size for small arms… practicing making anchor ropes out of windbreakers… feet… and dropping candy through.

8) Candyland. I’m just putting it on the list because I would rather chew off my own leg than play this never-ending repetitive simulation of purgatory.

9) Pizza pans with holes in them for crispier crusts. Do they make the crust crispier? I have no idea. Do they make a gigantic crumby mess all over the counter when you cut the pizza? Hell yes.

10) Vibrating toothbrushes for children. I used to have big blue blobs of toothpaste on the bathroom counter. Now I have big blue blobs of toothpaste on the counter overlaid with a fine mist of light blue toothpaste-and-spittle spatter. (And also, “Great green globs of greasy grimy gopher guts” is now stuck in my head, though strictly speaking that is not the fault of the toothbrushes.)

P.S. Shrek 2 gets a big thumbs-up from me, although I would like to watch it again without hearing “What’s funny, Mama? Why did that make you laugh?” two hundred and fifty-nine times.


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