Thursday, September 6, 2007

Inventions

A few years ago I dedicated one of The Pleasant Times to Reader's Inventions. It was a lot of fun, I enjoyed seeing everyone's ideas. Brilliant Inventions and Thoughtful Designs were illustrated and described.

I would like to bring forth that idea again, with a new Inventions column. This is for designs and inventions and clever variations on other items. I will post the column once in a while.

Today's invention is a wonderful coach for the foot-sore, worn-out, frazzled lady of the house who has to spend the afternoon grocery shopping. This idea is from Mrs. Sherman.

The Interior of an Edwardian Grocery




The Interior of an Edwardian Grocery

I am sure many folks out there have had the mega-grocery store experience in their area. The giant discount grocery chain that makes you bag your own groceries- and has such good prices that everyone is there at the same time to shop. After fighting traffic to get to the store, one grabs a cart and fights traffic inside the store. Woe to you if you do not know exactly what you want or where something is, for to stop a grocery cart in the middle of the aisle to look for an item means a traffic jam, or a potential pile-up. But since these drivers have faces (as opposed to darkened car windows) everyone tries to keep a polite demeanor, though patience can wear thin. All carts go at a slow 1 mph pace and drivers must leave their steering to dash to the shelf in a split second and grab the item they desire. One must not pause and read labels!


Off to Market




Off to Market

Art Print


King, Henry John...


Buy at AllPosters.com

Once you have your overly large cart full and are pushing with all your strength to the checkout aisles, you perhaps may be anticipating a brief moment of standing still and catching your breath. Not so. The super-mega-market master minds have figured out a way to keep everyone moving through the checkout so fast that you can barely say hello to the clerk. Now you have to catch the groceries coming down the lane and bag them as fast as you can, because the clerk is already processing the groceries of the customer behind you, and there is only room for two on these conveyor belts. If you make the next person in line wait, you start to get looks from the crowd, wondering why you are so slow.


Now you are finally out and pushing your last stretch to the car, which can be miles from the door of the store. The sun is so hot and the heat bounces off all that concrete, you wonder what would happen to you if you fainted on the parking lot. You make it to the car and unload all those bags, find a place for the cart, and get in the car, only to look forward to the long trek home, fighting traffic. Unless you live close by, you are most likely in for a 1/2 hour of driving, minimum.

Fashionable Lady and Her Children Enter Their Carriage in the Chaussee d'Antin Paris




Fashionable Lady and Her Children Enter Their Carriage in the Chaussee d'Antin Paris


Now here is where Mrs. Sherman's inventions come in. Thinking of all the money you are saving shopping at these stores may help ease the pain in your feet a bit, but Mrs. Sherman has created a car interior design to support the spirits as well as relax the aches away.

Elegant Parisiennes Use Their Automobile for Shopping




Elegant Parisiennes Use Their Automobile for Shopping
Delaspre, H.

As you get into your car, which looks suspiciously like an old-fashioned carriage, you are greeted with a beautiful scent, something floral or refreshingly citrus, quite unlike the fake foam thing-ys hanging from the rear-view mirror. The interior soothes you with your favorite colors, perhaps your seats are upholstered in white velvet. You can take a moment to give your eyes a rest from the glare of the parking lot, by pulling the fringed brocade shades (with a tassle) down over the windows. As the music of Mozart plays gently, you push a button on the dashboard, and the glove compartment opens and out comes a tray, with hot tea freshly made.



Apples and Tea




Apples and Tea

Art Print


Gish, Del


Let me take a moment to describe this tray to you. It has indentations in it that fit perfectly a fine bone china floral teapot, and a pair of tea cups, so that they will not rattle or slide around. A special way of cushioning this tray esures that there will be no sloshes or spills while driving. It always stays level. It is lined with satin, or your favorite chintz. Inside the glove compartment, a small water boiler fills the teapot for you before the tray slides out. A small fridge (perhaps under the seat) holds cream for those who prefer it, and a little chocolate pick-me-up for the harried shopper.


Evening Carriage Ride




Evening Carriage Ride

Sambataro, Joe

I think Mrs. Sherman's car improvements are fine ones, and the automatic tea dispenser should be an option for all auto buyers.

And while we are on the topic of automobiles, I will add a little invention of my own, which I am sure has been thought of though I have not seen it added to a vehicle yet: with four children, and with the many times we have had to configure car seats, I believe that there should be an easier way to install them. A foolproof-way, too, so that they are always put in snugly with no strap-pulling. I want to be able to simply lift up the seat cushion (underneath there would be hardware) and snap the car seat in. All cars and car seats would have to have universal hardware so that it would work no matter what car seat you buy. The car hardware would be adjustable for baby-carrier style car seats, so that they will be installed at the right angle. And a simple touch of a button would release the seat when you wanted to remove it. Has anyone invented this yet?

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