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This article is written by our contributing writer Scott Seegert (his site) for Dark Roasted Blend. He is the author of "It's a Guy Thing - Awesome Innovations from the Underdeveloped Male Mind" (Random House). The inventions featured in this article are NOT included in the book and represent a new material for DRB.

Awesome Innovations from the Underdeveloped Male Mind

There are over 7 million patents registered in the United States, a great number of which describe practical inventions designed for use by everyday, ordinary human beings. Then there's the "guy" stuff, ideas so lunkheaded and irrational they could only have come from that tiny portion of a guy's brain not dedicated to scratching himself.

The following inventions have received actual patents from the United States government - proof positive that heavy drinking is not being discouraged at the patent and trademark office. The illustrations are those submitted by the inventors themselves, whose surnames have been withheld as an act of mercy.

Fred’s Helium-Filled Sun Shade
(Patented 1991)

If you happen to be an outdoorsman, you surely realize the importance of protecting yourself from the sun. With the continued erosion of the ozone layer, even moderate exposure can leave you looking like an extra in a George Romero film. Unfortunately, sunscreen lotions are messy and inconvenient while umbrellas are cumbersome and require the use of at least one hand to operate. Outdoorsmen just hate this.

Well, Fred has come up with a solution that’s perfect for anyone who weighs over 300 grams and possesses a set of armpits. It’s his revolutionary Sun Shade, which he describes as a flat Mylar “balloon” that, once filled with helium, “maintains the sun shade in position above the individual’s head, while keeping both of the individual’s hands free for other activities” such as grabbing hold of a tree trunk when a gust of wind hits.

Note: Depending on the level of outdoorsman you are, you may choose to inhale a bit of the helium, thereby allowing you to converse with chipmunks and other small, woodland creatures.

Kathy’s Automatic Clothing Selector
(Patented 2002)

Although the vast majority of inventions highlighted in these articles are the result of male ingenuity, every once in a while someone like Kathy comes along and reminds us that women, too, can suffer from a lack of blood flow to the brain.

After exhaustive study and painstaking research, Kathy has come to the following apparel-related conclusions:

1. “Shorts may be appropriate clothing on a hot day, and a coat may be appropriate clothing on a cold day.”
2. “If a coat is worn on a hot day, a person might suffer from heat exhaustion. If shorts are worn on a cold day, a person might suffer from hypothermia.”

And, potentially most disturbing…

3. “The person may have to change clothes later in the day…resulting in a delay which can cause a person to be late for an engagement.”

With the seriousness of the threat identified, how best, then, to eliminate such costly clothing blunders? As a sentient being, you have four basic options:

1. Check your local weather report.
2. Stick your head out a window.
3. Hire a professional contractor to install one of Kathy’s Automatic Clothing Selectors in which a roof-mounted sensor (16) determines the current outside temperature and sends a signal to a closet-mounted indicator (13), which then flashes a colored light (14) corresponding to the hanger color (12) which holds clothing (18) appropriate for that particular temperature.
4. Move to the Arctic Circle.

Summer Specials

Try as we might, some of us just aren’t good swimmers. And it isn’t for lack of effort. It’s because our bodies possess the buoyancy characteristics of anvils. Over the years, America’s best and brightest have worked to develop solutions to this problem. Unfortunately, so have these guys.

John’s Swimming Device
(Patented 1920)

Some of us would give our right leg to be able to swim better, which would probably be a better option than what John has come up with.

He claims his swimming device “will assist in causing the arms and legs to be moved in the proper manner and relation to each other when learning to swim.” Then again, he also claims that his invention “provides a device…which is comparatively simple in its construction”, so take that for what it’s worth.

Nick’s Swimming Appliance
(Patented 1932)

Nick’s contribution to enhanced swimwear is a conglomeration of flaps, straps and buckles that he insists “will give to the swimmer the means a fish has” and “make swimming more enjoyable to those who wear it.” I don’t know about that, but it will definitely make swimming more enjoyable to those who watch someone else wear it.

Nick further states that an individual wearing his device will have the advantage of swimming “with less effort than will be required of a swimmer not wearing my device.” Of course, the individual not wearing the device will have a few advantages of his own, including retaining his dignity.

Note: In case you were wondering, Nick refers to the lower left hand illustration as a “rear view” of the swimmer.

John and Manuel’s Swimming Apparatus
(Patented 1911)

Drowning is a horrific, terrifying, painful experience resulting in death for the victim and untold grief for his family and friends. But can it really be any worse than wearing this?

In describing their apparatus, John and Manuel state that “the flexible cord connections between the anklets (15) and the wings (17), afford powerfully enhanced means of propulsion through the water…inspiring confidence and aiding the wearer in acquiring the natural art of swimming.” “Within a short time”, they continue, “any beginner using our appliance will naturally fall into the same positions and actions when deprived of the appliance as when it is being worn.” We can only assume these actions include curling up in a fetal ball of shame.

copyright Scott Seegert, 2008

Scott Seegert is the author of "IT’S A GUY THING – Awesome Innovations from the Underdeveloped Male Mind". For more inventions visit his website at ScottSeegert.com.

Buy this book at Amazon!

Article by Scott Seegert, ScottSeegert.com for Dark Roasted Blend.

(want to become our contributing writer? email us, see guidelines here)


Read all parts of the series here!

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