Lost Journal: Seeking Contenders for Nobel Prize in Annoyance Avoidance

Journal entry: May 22, 2011 (age 42) – Annoyance Avoidance

As technology races forward, there are some pesky societal annoyance problems that the scientific community could solve with a minimal investment of time and resources.

  • Since the advent of indoor plumbing, bathtubs have been too short to stretch out in. Recumbent bathers are forced into an awkward position more suitable to birthing than bathing. Hey, tubmakers! How’s about some legroom? We don’t all need Jacuzzis – just an extra 3 feet of tub length. Oh, and a head-cradling apparatus.
  • Office furniture sellers tell us that we can use rolling chairs on pile carpeting as long as we shell out the money for a plastic floor pad. They lie. The setup works great until an adult actually sits in the chair. Shortly thereafter, the wheels at the bottom of the chair legs sink into the plastic, creating a divot from which they cannot escape. I had a brainstorm on this one – make the plastic thicker!
  • Every time I pull up to a drive-thru ATM, I am too far away to reach the keypad. At the very least, I have to unhook my seatbelt and hang halfway out the window of my car. Most of the time, I just park a few feet away and get out of my car altogether, which kinda defeats the point.
  • Incessant beeps in hospitals drive me bananas. They’re especially annoying because the staff ignores most of them, having gotten used to their ubiquity. Even worse, fast food joints should come up with a better system for telling the person who stands in front of the fryers that, you know, the fries are done.
  • I think I speak for the vast majority of Americans when I say that the Burger King king must be eliminated by any means necessary. His huge, creepy, fake head should be an easy target for a team of Navy SEALS sponsored by McDonalds.
  • CDs and DVDs should be packaged with wrapping that unwraps and stickers that unstick.
  • Are tiny, translucent plastic nubs really the best way to attach tags to new clothes? If we could somehow collect all the wayward plastic nubs now residing on floors and carpets worldwide, we could, um…use them to…no, wait. Well, the point is we’d have a whole bunch of them in case we ever need them.
  • Glitter on greeting cards must have seemed like a good idea at first. Product testing would have revealed that insufficient adhesives allow said glitter to escape when the envelope is opened, getting all over everything, especially black clothes.   It’s like anthrax, but more fun!
  • As soon as the vacuum cleaner was invented, carpet fringe should have been prohibited on all new carpets. The only fringe benefit seems to be causing vacuum cleaners to make unsettling noises. Carpet fringe also assigns each of us the daily task of straightening out the parts that have been smushed backwards or to the side by passing humans, pets, and entropy.

If a scientist is able to tackle, say, four of these, couldn’t we set aside one lousy Nobel Prize for Annoyance Avoidance? Do they have bathtubs and ATMs in Oslo?

Tim Mollen
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