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Top 10 things I would’ve invented if someone else hadn’t beaten me to it

In Inventions, skills, Top Ten on February 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm

There’s an old saying/lie that goes something like ‘everyone has a novel in them’ but I reckon we all have at least one invention that would make life better/easier/more enjoyable for all. Here’s ten I would’ve invented if someone hadn’t beaten me to it.

1 – Pockets: Did you know that pockets that were first thought of by a Roman, Julius Pocketus? He would hang the cloth pockets from his toga and keep useful items in them like small change and the keys to his chariot. However, in Roman times, coinage was made from very heavy metal and chariot keys carved from granite, so Julius’ toga was often falling down, so pockets never caught on. The modern idea of a pocket as being an integral part of a garment was resurrected by forward-thinking tailor, Robert ‘Bob’ Farah, as he wanted somewhere to store a comb and his wallet while out of an evening and really didn’t want to be seen carrying a bag.

2 – Toast: With the addition of butter, bread is pretty awesome on its own. However, if you add a little bit of heat to the sliced bread and you’ve got perhaps the greatest, simplest meal you can make. In fact, The addition of a nice cup of tea to this makes a food/drink combination that is without equal.

3 – The internet: It would’ve taken me a while but I would’ve invented the internet if Sir Tim Berners-Lee hadn’t beaten me to, but I’m not one to complain so hats off to Sir Tim. The internet is a the first modern wonder of the digital age and has brought all manner of delights from across the world to your internet-connected device. The £10 a month I spend on Spotify is easily the best value tenner I spend a month and Skype is a godsend for keeping in touch with family all around the world. Also, Berners-Lee is a nice bit of rhyming slang for a cup of tea.

4 – The right to roam: In his fabulous folk song, The Manchester Rambler, Ewan MacColl wrote that ‘no man has the right to own mountains’ and he was right. If people hadn’t have trespassed up Kinder Scout a while back, I’d climbing over walls instead of stiles now.

5 – Central heating: Though it’s probably the root cause of global warming, central heating is the bees knees. It’s so great to have that you only really notice it now when you visit somewhere that doesn’t have central heating, like New Zealand. New Zealand is a lovely country which can get quite cold in the winter. But instead of having central heating and insulation they use warm air heaters and electric blankets. This means you end up being in a house that has heat, not a warm house. Also, your washing never dries! I might move to New Zealand and introduce central heating and claim it is my invention.

6 – Family and friends: I really don’t like to think about this because it’s too big for my little brain to ponder for too long. But be safe in the knowledge that If family and friends hadn’t already been invented, I would’ve saved you from an awful life of constant loneliness.

7 – Recycling: Whoever thought that putting rubbish in a big whole in the ground was an idiot: “We’ll just dig a hole and throw our rubbish in it.”
“But won’t it fill up eventually?”
“Nah, it’ll be alright.”
What a doofus. Well done to the person that invented recycling. I’m glad you beat me to it.

8 – Spoonerisms: I don’t come up with these in my everyday speech, I just like the way they sound and subvert the original phrase, like a lack of pies, or a sock cucker. Well done on your early invention Reverend William Archibald Spooner, I’m glad it’s named after you because Gowism doesn’t flow all that well.

9 – Fresh sheets: You can be skint, down in the dumps, dumped, hungover, dog tired or just want to treat yourself on a Sunday evening;  and what is the simplest most effective way of giving yourself a touch of luxury? Putting clean, fresh sheets on your bed and sliding under the duvet. No rogue hairs, no PJs under the pillow, no leftover hot water bottle, and certainly no crumbs. Just you and the cotton. Or, if you’re posh, silk. If fresh sheets weren’t with us I’d have invented both washing powder and washing machines just to make this happen.

10 – The Dictionary: Full of words you’ll never need to know and words you’ll never know how to spell, no matter how often you look them up. The only place that liminology and limousine can sit comfortably side-by-side. For those who like lists (and if you’re reading this site then I guess that includes you), the dictionary is the ultimate list. Bow down and accept, that no matter how good your one invention is, it is never, ever, ever, going to come close to the dictionary.

by Aaron Gow

Like most ‘aspiring’ writers, Aaron writes guff like this all the time sporadically. If you want to read it then check out his blog.