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Humor December 2014

The Best Inventions of My Lifetime

By Sy Rosen

The digital camera. I love that I can instantly erase any picture that makes me looks fat, old or generally funny looking. In other words, I erase most of my pictures.

This list is what I consider the 15 best inventions of my lifetime. And I know it’s hard to believe, but my lifetime doesn’t include the radio, the automobile, or the wheel. In ascending order they are:

15. The remote control.

Do you remember the old days when we had to get out of the couch to change a channel? How did we do it? The first remote was invented in 1956 by Zenith and called “Lazy Bones.” Coincidentally, this is what my wife calls me.

14. The microwave oven.

I can cook a baked potato in about 8 minutes – except for world peace and universal health care, life can’t get any better.

13. The iPod.

I can download the Beetles and Frank Sinatra and listen to them while eating a baked potato. Okay, I really don’t know how to download an iPod and have to ask my daughter for help – but I still think it’s a great invention.

12. The artificial heart –

I wasn’t going to include medical inventions because I’m sure everyone has a favorite (My Uncle Harold can’t stop talking about Metamucil; my Uncle Phil raves about dental floss; and my Aunt Harriet keeps saying how great it is that my Uncle Mort is using Viagra. As you can imagine, family dinners aren’t a lot of fun.). However, the artificial heart is so important and groundbreaking that I just had to include it on the list.

11. The answering machine.

It was invented before I was born but didn’t gain popularity in the U.S. until the 1960s so I’m going to include it (hey, it’s my list). I love leaving the house and having messages waiting for me like a little present (except if they’re from my Uncle Harold talking about Metamucil).

10. I’m lumping together DVD, VHS, VCR, DVR, Blue-ray.

They allow you to watch a TV show any time you want. Again, I have to admit that I really don’t know how to work any of these and still can’t get my VCR to stop blinking 12:00.

9. Ziplock bags.

They really keep food fresh. Unfortunately, sometimes when I buy a package of ham that’s sealed this way, I can’t open it and have to use an invention from an earlier era – the scissors.
8. The credit card. It may have been conceived earlier, but in 1950 Diners Club issued the first credit card in the United States (I think I’m still paying that one off).

8. The credit card.

It may have been conceived earlier, but in 1950 Diners Club issued the first credit card in the United States (I think I’m still paying that one off).

7. “Pong”was a popular home video game invented in 1972.

It was very soothing and has evolved into such soothing video games as “Resident Evil,” “Grand Theft Auto,” “Call of Duty,” “Watch Dogs,” “The Walking Dead,” “Killzone,” and “F.E.A.R.”

6. The ATM.

In the late 1960s the first ATM in the U.S. was installed outside of a bank. And I’ve been taking money out of these evil devices ever since.

5. The digital camera.

I love that I can instantly erase any picture that makes me looks fat, old or generally funny looking. In other words, I erase most of my pictures.

4. The hybrid car.

It was invented before my lifetime but has just recently been improved.
These cars reduce pollution and can get over 60 miles to a gallon. Everyone who cares about the environment should get one…I haven’t, but I’m an idiot.

3. The computer, the internet, e-mail, Google, You Tube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

I’m lumping together all these technical inventions because I don’t want them to take up most of my list. I again have to admit that I have trouble using most of this stuff and have to ask my daughter for help.

2. The cell phone.

I hate when people are talking loudly on their cell, but it’s still a great invention and I do know how to use it…kind of.

1. Wheels on luggage.

This great invention has put a lot of chiropractors out of business. It’s one of those terrific innovations that makes you say, “I could have invented that.” And most importantly, I know how to work it.

 

Sy has written for The Bob Newhart Show, Taxi, MASH, Maude, The Wonder Years, and Frasier. He has been married for forty-one years which is great because they say the first forty are the toughest.

 

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