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Wacky patents

The following excerpts, describing real but wacky products that have been patented, are from Ted VanCleave’s totally absurd.com Web site.
Diaper Alarm (1980)
Are you tired of sticking your fingers down a wet diaper for moisture verification? How else can you know if your baby’s diaper is wet again? If you had the Diaper Alarm, you could become a quick-change artist and keep your fingers dry!
Simply clamp the sensor onto the diaper and when your baby wets, mild electrical conduction along your baby’s skin activates blinking lights and an alarm. Is it just us, or do you think there is something a little wrong with combining babies, electricity and water?
Anti-Eating Mouth Cage (1982)
The holidays are a time to celebrate (there’s a holiday coming up soon somewhere in the world every week). And you know what the holidays mean … Eat! Feast! Food! The holidays just wouldn’t be the same without a little overindulgence in the chow arena, but overeating leads to health problems and our inventor says that it’s a foregone conclusion that chefs, housewives that cook and restaurant employees who are constantly subjected to food will overeat their way into obesity. His solution? The Anti-Eating Mouth Cage!
Gerbil Shirt (1999)
Hey, are you tired of leaving your small pets at home when you are out and about? Could you use a little more quality time with your gerbils, mice, hamsters or snakes? Well now your dreams have come true with the Gerbil Shirt!
The Gerbil Shirt wraps your torso in plastic tube passageways, making your bod a super highway of fun for Binky and Bart. The interior surfaces are textured for traction and have air vents for easy breathing.
The inventor suggests you can clean the Gerbil Shirt by attaching it to a faucet (remove pets first please), and you should avoid collisions and falls that could cause pet panic. We give two thumbs up to this living fashion accessory and we can’t wait to see the toy poodle version.
Beerbrella (2004)
Two of America’s favorite pastimes are baseball and beer. Sitting in the hot sun, slaking your thirst with an ice cold beverage … our kind of day. But there’s a downside to the warming rays of the sun, they also heat your brewski bottle and that’s not a good thing. So our inventors came up with a brilliant solution, the surprisingly simple Beerbrella! The Beerbrella conveniently clips onto your bottle, providing cooling shade as it creates your own personal beverage oasis.
But sun blocking is also beer blocking so the Beerbrella pivots at it’s peak for easy bottle access. Now the dilemma … beer in one hand, hot dog in the other, looks like your gonna need to put your nose to work tipping your Beerbrella up, then down, up, then down, up, then down.
Alarm Fork (1995)
Who doesn’t like to eat? Whether it’s a big juicy steak or tofu casserole, everyone likes to chow down. But Americans can be a gluttonous lot and obesity abounds around our towns. Why? Because you people are eating too fast! Quit inhaling your food! Slow down, take a break and give your food some time to settle. Slower eating leads to feeling full before you’ve devoured an entire 10-course meal. Less food, less weight gain. And we’re here to help, with the amazing Alarm Fork.
The rules: you can only eat when your fork gives you the green light. That’s right, once you’ve shoveled some food into your mouth, the fork sensors cue the fork to emit a red light. And you know what that means, STOP! Now wait, tick, tick, tick, tick … ding! Green light, take a bite.
Inflatable furniture (1989)
Tired of looking at your table and chairs all day long? Does your bed take up entirely too much space? This invention will allow you to roam your home with no obstacles during the day and sleep easily at night This lighter-than-air furniture can be levitated with helium gas and stored on your ceiling when you’re not using it!
Need a nap? Just grab the tether rope and pull your bed down from the ceiling. Imagine, you will never have to make your bed or clear off the dinner table again! Simply inflate your furnishings and messy beds and untidy tables are out of site! Just be sure the pets don’t get trapped between the sofa and the ceiling.
Car Bib (1980)
Do you eat your favorite snacks while driving and drop messy morsels all over your shirt and lap? Food is flying all over the place and you’re more worried about getting a ketchup stain on your garb than watching the road ahead? Now what? If you were wearing the Car Bib, you could maintain clean clothes and a clean driving record!
The Car Bib was designed for the motorist that eats on the go, catching the chow that misses their mouth. The inventor notes the device can also function as a serving tray for your eats. (Is that before or after the food has fallen from your mouth?)
Pet Petter (1989)
Pets need petting and according to our inventor: “One of the primary elements of this relationship of man and domestic pets seems to be the scratching, stroking and petting of a pet … Though this petting process seems to be a necessary and essential element of a human relationship with pets, it oftentimes is neglected, undoubtedly to the sensual displeasure of the animal involved and quite possibly to the potential disruption of the relationship with that animal.”
Hey! We can’t have you two breaking up, so when Benji needs a little extra affection, he can step right up to his new love machine, the Pet Petter! An electric eye spots your hairy little friend and signals the electronic motors to start swinging the petting arm tipped with a human-like hand. Remarkably, the inventor also suggests it can be used for human infants. Just remember what your Mother told you; be careful, you could put an eye out with that thing!
For more wacky patents visit Ted VanCleave’ Web site, www.totallyabsurd.com.

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