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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.

Tom and Ken’s Mowing Apparatus
United States Patent #5,410,864 - 1995

Here is the perfect solution for the guy who wants to start his own lawn maintenance company, but fears his $37 in available start-up capital won’t get it done. With Tom and Ken’s Mowing Apparatus, not only will equipment expenses be minimal, but labor costs will also be low as the inventors assure us their apparatus works equally well with a tricycle (they really do).

The innovative duo has high hopes that their miraculous mower will gain popularity, forever altering the landscaping landscape. But they remain cautious. "Up until now", Tom (or Ken) points out, "use of pedal driven mowing apparatus has not gained widespread acceptance." Imagine that.

Domenic’s Life Preserver
United States Patent #1,292,587 - 1919

Perhaps in response to the Titanic disaster several years earlier, Domenic created his state-of-the-art, multi-faceted aquatic life preservation system that can best be described as "unattractive". Domenic’s ensemble consisted of a vest, two mouth-inflatable underarm air sacks and an elastic-necked head covering designed to keep its wearer from swallowing salt water. Alas, no one knows whether his life preserver actually worked since whenever anyone put it on, they were immediately beaten to death with deck chairs by the other passengers.

Charles’ Pet Urn
United States Patent #6,785,938 - 2004

We’ve all heard the old adage about the dog being man’s best friend. Well, he’s a guy’s best friend, too. Heck, he’s often a guy’s only friend, at his side through thick and thin – and Charles’ Pet Urn guarantees he’ll remain there for decades.

Charles says his urn is fashioned in "the likeness of the deceased pet, including fur, whiskers and color markings that match those of the deceased pet." The result is a lifelike tribute to the beloved pooch which, aside from having three fewer brain cells, is an exact replica in every way. The cremated remains may be accessed by unscrewing the animal’s head, a process that may appear a tad inhumane to friends and neighbors who were unaware of the animal’s passing.

Alfred’s Ventilated Coffin
United States Patent #36,660, 1862

If you think Grandpa emits some foul gas now, just wait until he passes away. It may get to the point where you won’t even want the casket containing his decomposing husk lying around the house anymore.

Alfred attempted to address this issue over 150 years ago with the invention of his Ventilated Coffin, to which a rubber bladder, a valve and a hose assembly are connected. Over time, the bladder will inflate, indicating the presence of what Alfred calls "offensive gases arising from the dead bodies being placed therein". The valve may then be opened, releasing Grandpa’s fetid fumes into the outside air where they are free to waft gently throughout the surrounding community.

Or, you could just bury him and be done with it.

Dean’s Sputnik Cap
United States Patent #2,971,082, 1961

If your automobile has ever broken down in the middle of the night, you are no doubt aware of the danger presented by passing traffic as you attempt to repair the problem. At least Dean was, which is why he created his ingenious Sputnik Cap, a lighted, translucent, spiked plastic helmet that glows in the dark "in order to warn approaching motorists of the presence of an individual along a highway." Results have been varied.

“Harold, look! That poor man is being attacked by a radioactive porcupine! Run him over and end his misery.”

Jack’s Vacuum Pants
United States Patent #4,230,114, 1980

At first glance, you might assume that Jack’s device performs a similar function to Alfred’s coffin above. After closer examination, however, you would realize that our little lady is in search of a standard household vacuum to attach to her outlet hose (51) so that, according to Jack, "the continuous evacuation of air will cause the pant material to press against the user’s body to induce sweating during an exercise routine with the effect that overall girth reduction is promoted." And, really, who among us isn’t in favor of overall girth reduction?

Jack adds that his pants, which are one-size-fits-all and suitable for both men and women, should be worn with "preferably no undergarment". (Note to self: preferably never EVER borrow someone else’s vacuum pants).

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.

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


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