Saturday, July 08, 2006

Vinylhydrophobia? No Problem.

This is the year I finally do something for humanity. Sorry, pulling the plug on my column is not an option. I’m not quite ready to give up the fast-paced, high-powered, three-figure-income world of journalism just yet, so you can put that thought out of your head right now. No, what I have in mind is long overdue and even more philanthropic than the act of me packing up my Hewlett-Packard and its Cheetos-encrusted keyboard.

Oh, I had my chance once, back in the seventies, to do some real good but someone beat me to it when they invented the flip-top toothpaste cap, patented it, and got it on the market before me. No, really. And, the other day my husband called me into the gadget aisle of the grocery store to take a look at something I had thought of years ago. A little scrub brush attachment for the spray hose on your sink. But did I patent it back then? Did I get it on the market? Did I ease the suffering of housewives all those years ago when the thought first occurred to me as I scraped week-old tuna casserole off dinner plates with the heel of my shoe? No, I didn’t. Oh, for shame.

Now, thanks to another of my brilliant ideas, I have a chance to redeem myself. Let me give you a little background.

vinylhydrophobia -n. the fear of being in the shower and having the force of the water create a suction action thereby causing the shower curtain to draw inward toward the unsuspecting bathing subject resulting in the slimiest portion of the curtain affixing itself to said bathing subject’s ankles and calves further resulting in a wild case of naked heebie-jeebies.

Yes, I’m not too proud to admit it. I’m a vinylhydrophobic. After all, talking about it is the first step to getting healthy.

I suffered for years with this debilitating fear until I summoned enough courage to do something about it. Now, not only have I invented a product that will bring relief to millions of tortured bathers around the world, but I have also discovered a new phobia, named it, and begun a foundation: the National Vinylhydrophobia Association which promotes awareness, research, wristbands (in an appropriate bath-water gray), and pot-luck suppers.

My prototype is a simple apparatus, but sure to take the heebie-jeebies out of the phobic’s next shower. I call it the “Slime-B-Gone, Bather’s Little Helper, Curtain Control Device”. (Yeah, maybe I need to tweak the name just a bit.) A plastic expandable, belt fits around the waist. A handy plastic “arm” attaches to the belt and folds out to hold the shower curtain away from the bather, thus leaving the bather with both hands free for washing instead of pushing the slimy curtain off of the legs. An added “swivel” feature allows the “arm” to move around the belt, thus the bather may turn from front to back while still holding curtain away from body. I’ve thought this through, folks.

However, the only problem now is getting into the patent office before that naked guy in the parking lot, the one wearing a shower cap and having the really bad case of the heebie-jeebies.

©g.Slater 2006


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