In the late 1890’s, the head of the United States Patent Office advocated closing his department for good, stating with full confidence that everything that could be invented had been. Which is why today America remains at the forefront of whalebone whittling technology; Nielsen Ratings show reading the Sears Roebuck catalog is the leading form of weekly entertainment (followed closely by watching either candles burn or relatives succumb to consumption); and scientists continue to make great strides in the hopes of one day curing the leading cause of death in our nation, accidental wheat scythe beheadings.
Truth is, ingenuity is rarely appreciated in its time, especially in business. In fact, I'm practically brimming over with great industry ideas, even a few that do not involve elaborate revenge fantasies or sure-fire schemes to win handsomely at roulette. Yet for some inexplicable reason the following long-held brilliant concepts have yet to see the light of day or get me past the receptionist desk at most corporate headquarters, small business offices or even my dad’s place of work:
• A house plant that actually thrives under routine neglect and the occasional arc of cat piss
• A sitcom about mismatched roommates, one a refined neat freak unaccustomed to squalor, the other an escaped Colobus monkey with a loaded handgun and steadily improving aim
• A microwaveable single-serving Hot Pocket dinner that does not end with the lonely, malnourished consumer crying over both a woeful financial status that would greatly concern friends and a pitiful social calendar that would greatly bemuse Capuchin nuns
So why are we now not living in a world replete with lush albeit less-than-favorably aromatic ferns, meals that actually promote a positive self-image and program after program featuring homicidal primates? I don't know, people. I just don't know.