Tuesday, July 27, 2004


It happened again. (For some history on this, please see my post from May 14)

My penchant for laziness and general apathy has thwarted me out of millions of dollars yet one more time. Either that, or someone is stealing my ideas.

Just a few years ago, I invented an amazing contraption while at the grocery store. It was going to revolutionize the way you shopped, or at least the way I shopped.

There was a supermarket nearby where I lived, and we went there once a week for groceries. Their prices were reasonable, they offered double coupons and even had valet parking. Like most people, I’m a creature of habit and when I buy my groceries, I usually get a lot of the same things. One of the nice little perks about going back to the same place every week is that you get to know where your particular items are. This allows you to make a calculated run through the store with incredible efficiency.

You’re in. You’re out. You’ve got a bag full of groceries.

My only complaint about this store was that every freakin’ time I went there, they moved items around so that you couldn’t find them. One week, the Cheez-Its would be on the top of aisle eight and next week they would be buried somewhere on aisle two. This happened with alarming regularity until one week the entire store was switched around.

Needless to say, this was extremely frustrating. I don’t frequent this establishment anymore, but it did spark a brilliant idea: The Shopping Cart Computer.

The Shopping Cart Computer would make grocery shopping a breeze. There would be a small computer-like device that would be attached to the handle of your cart. You could find out about the weekly specials. You could program in your shopping list and it would keep a running tab of the contents of your cart. This ingenious device would give you price comparisons and suggestions to help save you money. It would even guide you directly to your items via a small map. It was brilliant. Looking for that jar of Paul Newman’s Medium Salsa? It’s on sale today for $2.99. Please proceed to aisle three, right in the middle.

Just think of the minutes that could be shaved off your shopping experience. Think of all the charity work you could do with your free time. Think of the inventions I could conceive with all that extra time. Sounds great, right? Fast forward to last week and me watching the Today Show.

Damn them.

Damn the Cart Companion, or Shopping Buddy, or whatever you want to call it.

Damn them all.

How can this be? How could this happen to me again? Am I making this up? Do I want to have the IQ of a genius so badly that I periodically convince myself I’ve invented things? I don’t think so. I’ve come to suspect that someone is on to me. Now that I think of it, I might have once seen a shifty-eyed Matt Lauer in the produce department.

I vow this will never happen again. I have one more great idea, but I won’t mention it to anyone. I’ll swear a blood oath to myself to see the idea through to completion. I will make millions.

Oh wait, someone already invented the Chillow®.

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