Friday, May 14, 2004


Apparently, I'm a genius.

That, and I might be a millionaire today if I weren't so damn lazy. You see, someone in Sweden has produced a product that a friend and I conceived about 10 years ago.

And I just bought one of them. Two, actually.

I suppose a bit of back story is in order here. Back when I was in college, one of my best friends and I would frequent a little dive bar that was about halfway in between our houses. During the warm fall and summer nights, we would ride our bikes and meet up to throw back a few.

You might wonder why we would ride two-wheeled contraptions that require balance and agility to a place where large amounts of alcohol would be served. See, we went to a very liberal university in the Pacific Northwest and everyone rode bicycles. It had to do with the environment or something.

Since we rode at night (and were safety conscious) we had these detachable headlights that were mounted on the handlebars. We would always take the lights in with us because if you didn't, they would be stolen and you'd have to buy a new one. Being poor college students, we had priorities on where the cash was to be spent (i.e. beer).

One night, well into a few drinks, but not before the bartender cut us off, the lightning of ingenuity struck. One of us, and I honestly can't remember who did it first, took a bicycle light and put it under a glass of beer, shining a beam of pure, white light into a golden-brown microbrew. This was not only funny, but it also looked really cool. We thought about this for a while and came up with an idea.

We would be the inventors of: Beer Lights.

Beer Lights would be little coasters that lit up from underneath, illuminating whatever beverage you had set on it. It was genius. And we were going to be rich.

Of course, we never did anything except talk about it. We would still joke about it from time to time over the years.

Fast forward to 2004. I'm walking around Ikea with the Doctor (wife) and there they were: Our Beer Lights. I was stunned, I was crushed, and most of all, I had to have them. A two pack for $4.99 seemed a little chintzy for such a genius device, but the cashier would only take as much as was listed on the item.

Thinking about all the time we spent in that dive bar, I have to wonder if that little beady-eyed Swedish foreign exchange student sitting at the table next to us turned out to be a designer for Ikea.

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