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COLUMN: Help or hindrance? Some inventions should go away

In this week's Everything King, Wendy wishes she could reverse some of society's advancements, but for now you can find her in the produce aisle trying to open one of those bags
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I admire inventors who came up with ingenious ideas and then figured out how to create them and market them and make oodles of money.

Long before Shark Tank pitches there were smart inventors who found ways to manufacture something from the idea and then take it to the marketplace.

As a society, we benefit from the majority of them.

Upworthy did a poll asking the inventors specifically what they might want to "dis-invent." Then, of course, average people got involved in the voting.

Pop-up ads: The creator even apologized for them. Go to any website or watch any video and it’ll be interrupted by a pop-up ad. Even commercial-free isn’t without commercials anymore. Annoying.

Coffee pods: Seemed like such a great idea at one time. Now, they seem messy, expensive and actually useless. For me, I never want just one cup of coffee. The creator says he regrets how much extra trash they cause.

Impossible-to-open plastic packaging: I hope you never need to purchase new scissors. If you do, make an advance doctor’s appointment to get stitches for the gash you will get using a knife to break into the scissor package. Should you need to break into a box of batteries, book a trip to emergency as it may not end without a massive loss of blood.

(Oh, at this point I want to add in those plastic containers that cover cakes or cookies or other delightful desserts. Who made that contraption? Why are they so noisy? Nobody can sneak anything in the dead of night without the household knowing you're in the fridge!)

On-screen tipping prompts: I prefer to tip, if I desire, separately rather than adding it on through machine. Especially since COVID, when we were trying not to handle all that germy money, it became a new trend. They also put it in the form of a percentage, which usually confuses me info giving more than I meant to. Starting at 18 per cent and going up? No! That, of course, is the whole point.

It started me thinking of other inventions that I think I could have lived without.

Streaming services: Yes, I use them and enjoy them, sometimes, but it has become an expensive alternative to regular television, which totally sucks. I grew up with three network channels and one you could get if you turned a giant dial to make the outside antenna switch directions to bring in that extra channel. The thing is there were quality programs on each day on each channel. Just one bill, not five extra bills per month.

Duct tape: Not the actual product, which we all know fixes anything. It's not knowing where the tape begins. I have ruined many a manicure scratching for a place to start. We need an invention that marks where we left off. (Yes, I know you’re supposed to fold it over, but I forget!)

Produce bags at the grocery store: How much time have I lost standing like a moron at the tomato section trying to open those dumb, thin bags that refuse to open. Way too much, apparently. I’ve shaken them, I’ve tried prying, I’ve wet my fingers ... but here’s the deal, those bags will open when they feel like it. I think they are the jerks of the grocery aisle.

Milk bags: Those flimsy, floppy things that are impossible to cut properly. They never pour well. I do cry over spilled milk.

I believe we all have at least one good invention waiting to be created.

I had one really clever one before it was stolen by a bakery. Believe me or not, but it was my idea first.

Roof-top muffins: I named them, too! It's just muffin tops because nobody likes the bottom part of the muffin. However, the top is always nice and crusty. It is definitely a product now, but I take full credit.

Have you invented anything? Patent it and then tell us all about it.

I always feel we are all just one brilliant idea away from being millionaires ... or at least having enough to buy a good muffin.

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About the Author: Wendy King

Wendy King writes about all kinds of things from nutrition to the job search from cats to clowns — anything and everything — from the ridiculous to the sublime. Watch for Wendy's column weekly.
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