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Alice Kahn

It's Patently Absurd That There Are No More Good Inventions

May 01, 1988|Alice Kahn

"Why not a patented mouse?" I thought to myself as I wandered through a field of frost-free strawberries.

Another great idea would be a cross between a frost-free strawberry and a patented mouse. This would create both a frost-free mouse and a walkaway shortcake.

I tried calling my friend, Marge, to tell her this idea. Marge is into R&D. But my phone lost its memory and I couldn't reach her.

So I lit a smoke-free cigarette and went to the toning and tanning salon. One machine passively created my biceps while another turned it a nice honey beige.

I put on my earphones and headed home. That's when I thought of a solution to the walking-wounded problem. What we do is issue earphones to all the people talking to themselves. No radios. Just the earphones. Then they'll look like nice normal people, singing along with Sting.

When I got home, I started to make dinner, but the microwave was down, so instead of taking three minutes, the lasagna won't be ready until next Tuesday at 9 o'clock. I programmed the VCR to start recording "Moonlighting" in case I miss a new episode when the lasagna's done.

I pointed the remote at the radio and heard about a scandal in the food technology business. A leading scientist got drunk, and they had to recall all the aloe vera potato chips. But the cool ranch shampoo and Cajun spice conditioner were selling briskly.

I zapped the radio with my new all-purpose remote, but I accidentally zapped the kids too. It's a little like freeze tag. I left them on pause while I watched a tape of yesterday's "Evening News."

Dan Rather said that scientists at Harvard announced a major breakthrough. While trying to understand the origin of life, they actually created a mutant creature. It was half Sylvester Stallone and half jackass. You couldn't tell which end was up, but they both said, "Yo."

I fast-forwarded the kids and put them to bed. The youngest kept screaming for grapes, her favorite bedtime snack. I was all out, so I rubbed a little Retin-A on some raisins and slipped them to her. They might taste weird, but it'll keep them from singing and dancing.

It was a beautiful night. There was a full moon, and it got me thinking about how no one goes to the moon anymore. I poured a glass of Tang and went out on the patio. The crickets were chirping like crazy, so I turned on the bug light, hoping they'd shut up.

I vowed that the next morning, I was going to start a self-improvement program. Elizabeth Taylor's kind of my idol in that regard. She stopped using drugs. She took off all that weight.

Sometimes I think the world is just the most wonderful place. I'm so happy to be living in the here and now. Just think, 100 years ago I might have been working in a field. Two hundred years ago, I might have been dead by the time I was 35. Three hundred years ago, I might have been burned as a witch just for thinking that women shouldn't have to do the dishes.

I fell asleep and dreamed they had invented a mouse that could cure cancer. But I awoke at 3 in the morning with my heart pounding. Goldfish food! I forgot to buy goldfish food! You'd think by now they'd have self-feeding goldfish.

That's the trouble with science today. It's so impractical.

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