Great inventions that could change your life

1. Beer Protector – First of all, not everyone has given up smoking. And just because the smokers have left the bar for for a drag, it doesn’t mean they’ve abandoned their pints.

Is it not bad enough for them that they’re forced to indulge their filthy habit outside, shivering in the drizzle hunched over their sputtering butts, without having to worry that someone will hand their unfinished glass of Guinness to the barman and say: “I think this one’s dead.”

Anxiety about leaving an unfinished drink unattended for fear of the consequences can lead to excessive alcohol intake. Rather than drink half now, have a sneaky ciggie and then return to finish the glass – smokers may feel the need to neck the whole pint in case it disappears. Then they’ll need to order a whole new drink, post fag.

Behold! The simple solution to unintentional drink dumping, unattended alcohol anxiety, excessive intoxicant intake – and worries that a new arrival could innocently take your place at the bar, your seat or indeed the whole table…

Ta Da! The Smoker’s Friend, aka The Beer Protector.

It may look like a mild-mannered police station janitor beermat, but get this. It’s…

Wait for it…

It’s laminated. So it won’t sag, soak or collapse into your glass. That’s what I call customer care.

Grandad aka Head Rambles, this one’s for you.

Er... Well... It was like this Your Honour. I was lost in a tall building, so I followed the arrow pointing up the stairs until I came out onto the roof. I heard a loud buzzing. At first I thought it was a bee. Then a helicopter landed beside me. A man with closely shaved hair and a dark suit flashed an official ID in my face and dragged me on board. As we flew higher and higher, the skyscrapers looked as small as tents. He strapped a rucksack on my back and said: "Time to jump." I told him it was impossible. I was only a learner. Then I felt a hand shove me from behind. Out I fell, plummeting, accelerating, frantically panicking waving my arms and legs. My lunch trying to push its way past my heart in my mouth. My hand caught on a loop of cord. I was jerked upwards. My head snapped back and I saw the parachute billowing above me. That's when I fainted, and someone must have put me into a taxi and sent me home. The smell? Oh that wasn't me. The previous customer was sick on the backseat of the cab before I got in.

2. Rory’s Story Cubes – We’ve all been there. Trying to make conversation with the person next to you at the bar. Having to come up with a story for your teacher. Seeking inspiration as you grope for an explanation as to where you’ve been all night.

But you’re a bit hungover, drunk, dim or bewildered. You need help.

Here’s the answer. Rory’s Story Cubes. A wee box with nine dice. Each side of each dice has a simple picture of an object – or in the other version, a picture of a verb.

Here’s how it works. You throw the dice, and create a story based on the random selection of pictures. Start wherever you want. No right answer, no wrong answer.

A great way to kick start your mind, your story, your excuse, the lie you’re about to begin. (Apparently it could have some educational use as well, or keep children occupied on long journeys. Can’t see it myself.) I’ve just bought four cute wee box sets of them from No Alibis bookshop in Belfast. (Go there, it’s one of my favourites. But don’t eat all their chocolate biscuits drunken skunk ye.)

Like many slam dunk successes – Tayto crisps, soda farl pizzas, the Titanic – it comes from Ireland. Rory O’Connor is the creator. Here’s his website

There’s even an app for your iPhone.

3. Clever bags – Yeah yeah yeah – Plastic bags are evil, we’re always supposed to reuse them, remember to bring our own to the shop so we don’t have to ask for a new one. But with all the booze and fags, some people’s memories aren’t what they used to be, (as far as they can remember).

Oi! This is important. The continued survival of small hedge dwelling mammals and our entire planet depend on you reusing that bag.

Two ways of making sure you remember. The Irish way – shops are obliged by law to charge you for any plastic bag they give you. Fair enough, that’s the stick.

But what about the carrot? Could that work better? After all, we’ve already established that these drunken nicotine addicts will already throw money away on drink and tobacco. (C’mon now, be fair. I said “throw” not “waste”.) Fast women too, I don’t doubt. So they’re hardly likely to baulk at a measly ten pence/euro/cents for a plastic bag, are they?

So here’s the carrot. Make it the bag you already have so desirable, so funny, so odd, so annoying to other people, that you won’t be able to resist taking it with you. (I took the pictures from You Got To Be Kidding.)

4. And finally – this bloke Dominic Wilcox is just crazy – in a beguilingly inventive way.

You can find these – the laptop workout, the loaf of bread lampshade and the business card presenter tie – and much more at his blog Variations on Normal. He’s coming up with something new thing every day.

He also creates lovely things like this.



Filed under life, media

7 responses to “Great inventions that could change your life

  1. Dear god, I need most of these! Thanks, Paul!

  2. A smoker’s card … great idea. As a former smoker it really riles me that: owners can’t allow customers to smoke in their pubs; smokers are made to feel like criminals; smokers can’t light up on some public streets ; the list goes on.

    G’day – Maxi

  3. Smokers card’s. Yeah they have them in New York. They are like the reserved cards that you get but say ‘gone for a cigarette’.

    Love those bags but I’m not sure that I want to get bitten.

  4. I like the card idea. If ever I’m unlucky enough to find myself in a pub that doesn’t allow smoking, I usually bring my pint outside with me, so the card would save me having to lug my pint around.

    Mind you, knowing my luck they’d still nick my pint and my card.

  5. Too funny. I should use those story cubes for blogging to spice things up a bit.

    Thanks for visiting my place and for leaving the comments and links.

    Enjoy your day.

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