Student Voice


May 20, 2024


Light Drizzle


‘Revolutionary’ ideas border on insanity

February 12, 2009

The evidence continues to mount, dear readers. Though not yet official, the picture is becoming clear: there’s a solid chance, a real solid chance, that I may be verging on genius. Every so often, an intellectual hero-a genius-comes along with an idea that sparks the imagination of an entire culture and can lead to great change that can be, at least in my book, loosely interpreted as divine intervention.

Think Edison here. These are special ideas, transcendent in their creativity and unifying in their spirit. I will now reveal to you my own revolutionary thoughts, but first I have to warn you: if you steal any of my ideas, I’ll poke you in the eyeball several times until you’ve learned your lesson.

First of all, a new product. Sick of buying the same old mints? Try my new idea: mints, but they’re called “Legitimints”-pretty sweet, huh? Gourmet mints for classy and sassy folk, Legitimints will sell for $9.99 per tin.

That’s a huge profit on the per-mint cost of production, which will hover consistently around the $0.0002-per-mint mark thanks to my underpaid, underage factory workers, all yanked from the slums of Indonesia and granted the dreamy opportunity to spend 12-20 hours per day bent over mint-molding machines, vertebrae grinding in their weary, twisted backs, sweat and grime from the slums dripping into the mixture as it pools into thousands of individual mint molds.

My second idea is just as stupendous. I was pouring ice into a glass the other night, preparing a can of warm Dr. Pepper from the pantry. I stopped and thought: instead of putting all this ice in a glass, is there any reason-any reason at all-that I can’t simply keep an ice cube in my mouth and let the pop get cold in there? I have yet to try it, but it might work…

My third idea is to encourage parents to get babies for their babies. What can a two-year-old actually learn from a doll? Even the creepy realistic kinds that cry tears and scream can’t actually prepare a toddler for the burden of parenthood. Your kids will grow up faster than you think-stop playing with dolls and get your baby a real baby to take care of. It could prove to be a good learning experience.

My fourth idea is one for college students and high schoolers: condense Cliff Notes to an even shorter format-preferably under a paragraph. My version will be for those of you who are used to rushing into class, using the last few seconds before the quiz to interrogate the girl next to you, hoping she can compress 50 pages of text into two or three simple sentences.

My version of Cliff Notes will be restricted to several incomplete sentences describing the entire philosophy and ALL the significant or semi-significant details and themes of a wide variety of literature. The entire thing in five seconds. How can I not make money?

I thought about switching my shower to pour out Drano instead of water. There’s something from a Japanese horror film growing in my shower drain-I think it’s from the previous residents. But anyway, I finally figured showering my body daily with a noxious chemical soup like Drano wasn’t a good idea.

My last idea might be a panner-outer. I thought of inventing a line of alarm clocks that feature extremely realistic, jarring soundscapes to shock the customer into wakefulness instead of that damned incessant beeping.

For example, imagine your alarm clock thundering in your ears the ominous authority of Hitler screaming at a Nazi rally or the explosive rattle of someone killing a deer with an assault rifle. I have a tendency to push my snooze button over and over for about the first seven hours of the day before I finally wake up. I think an alarm clock that could recreate for me the sound of waterboarding or perhaps the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan would jolt me awake in a far more effective way. Would you pay money?

So now you tell me: am I cresting the hill of geniusdom or do I still have a ways to go?

I probably still have a ways to go.

Joe Hager is a student at UW-River Falls.