(* With all due respect to the wonderful folks at the Lemelson-MIT Program and their annual Invention Index.)

If you’re reading my blog, it’s probably because you check in with stalkerish dedication each day, eager to partake in my wisdom on, well, everything. Or you’re my mom. (Hi, Mom!) Lucky for you, bsk fan(s), today I’ll share with you my opinions on the world’s greatest inventions. (My blog does not count as an invention, but how sweet of you to suggest it.) After an extensive survey of myself, I present to you my useful findings in the form of this, the antithesis of my earlier Useless Blog.

Floss Sticks – There are few positions in life more awkward than the one millions of people find themselves in each morning when they stumble to the bathroom, still groggy and bleary-eyed, proceeding to force their jaws into ungainly angles, haplessly struggling to maneuver a slippery strand of string in between teeth they could have sworn weren’t there the previous morning. With floss sticks you can easily eliminate this dental dilemma while absentmindedly checking your e-mail — so you have no excuse for icky teeth! However, this means I must now find something else to blame my utter unkissableness on.

Keys – If we didn’t have these, robbers would have it way too easy. And then keeping them locked up in jail thereafter would prove to be quite the challenge.

Shoelaces – Oh sure, you dismiss this as just another one of my quirky idiosyncrasies. But envision with me, if you will, a world without shoelaces. Floppy sneakers that soar off your feet and decapitate the poor running enthusiast on the neighboring treadmill. Gladiators so preoccupied with how to fasten their sandals around their calves that they forget to not be eaten by lions. Baseball players still rounding third base when their shoes sail home. Pole-vaulters’ sneakers going airborne well before they themselves do. Bowling shoes racing down lanes in hot pursuit of the bowling balls. If all you’re thinking right now is What about Velcro or loafers, you tool, then go find another blog. And an imagination, while you’re at it.

The Shower – This one was recommended to me by the person who inspired the blog. At first I thought, Oh, come on. Showers are great, but are they worthy of this esteemed list? Then I took one for the first time in about four years and I realized, yes. They are.

Deodorant – All travelers who dare venture to the olfactory wonderland that is India come back with a finely nuanced appreciation of deodorant. Especially those who have spent two hours on an Air India flight with a busted air conditioning system squashed next to a considerably obese and significantly gaseous man using a drenched handkerchief to wipe away the profusion of sweat emanating from his forehead (and elsewhere), and who has copious amounts of hair peeking out from between every button hole which can only mean that he is not wearing anything beneath his shirt, suggesting that all there is standing guard between you and his soggy underarm is an entirely-too-thin layer of cheap polyester. I’m never one to go into too much detail, but you get my drift.

The Toilet – All travelers who dare venture to the plumbing-challenged wonderland that is India will have, at some point, encountered the hole-in-the-ground toilet phenomenon. Most of us are fortunate enough to stay in homes that don’t have it; but most of us are unfortunate enough to visit homes that do. And we will never, ever, EVER again take for granted the comfort afforded by the modern seated toilet and all its wondrous accompanying plumbing accoutrements. See also: Lota.

The Couch – Anyone who’s watched four consecutive hours of Everybody Loves Raymond reruns while standing in a dingy living room, cursing the couch delivery people for postponing their dropoff and the cable installation people for blowing them off yet again and themselves for not buying a real lamp, and refusing to sit on the floor because this is, after all, their first NYC apartment, and they’re not sure what to make of all the rumors about the rat populations they may allegedly be cohabiting with, will appreciate the importance of a good, comfortable seat beneath their rump. And the rest of us like couches, too.

Scientology – Because when people doing absurd things in the name of your religion gets you down, you need something to remind you that hey, it could be worse. A lot worse. And because without it, we would have all still thought Tom Cruise was normal.

AIM – With drugs and alcohol out of the question, SK needs something to be addicted to. Without AIM I would never have been able to have kept in touch with people I don’t particularly care about (not you though, sweetie), or to have entertained scores of folks I don’t particularly care about (not you though, sweetie) with my ludicrous away messages. If it weren’t for AIM, I probably would have had a much more difficult time pimping my blog. But if AIM hadn’t been in the equation, this blog probably would have gotten written two weeks ago. I’d also like to hail the inventors of Google, for making stalking so readily available to the average man. See also: Friendster, Naseeb, Facebook, etc etc etc etc. Hell, the Internet in general is really really great. Or so sayeth the cast of Avenue Q.

Hair Products – Anyone who has ever woken up in my near vicinity will vouch that hair products were the best thing that ever happened to me. What, you thought this gorgeous mane of thick, lustrous curls looked like this 24/7? Really, you did? Oh, well, um, it does. But you could really use some mousse.

I find it interesting that so many of my picks are related to hygiene or grooming in some fashion. This may lead some people to assume I’m somewhat superficial and shallow. Don’t worry, some people. I’ll address that concern in a future blog. But for now, I bathe.

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