On the way home from Port Aux Basques, I either witnessed genius or extreme laziness. There he was, sitting on the hood of a rusted out Chevrolet Cavalier, with a proud grin on his face. In his former life he was a flags-person, a very demanding job where you only duty was to stand out on the highway and turn a sign that said ‘Slow’ on one side and ‘Stop’ on the other. The inventor, a fat lazy looking man whose safety jacket was far too small for him, had come up with a method of doing his job that made his job far less energy consuming. He had rigged the sign so that it stood into the tip of one of those orange safety pylons. This obviously took tremendous thought and work, I could tell that from that look on his face, and the way in which he leaned across the hood of his car. What is next for this guy I wonder? Will he bring his lazy chair to work and sit next to the sign in the pylon? That would be even better.
When it comes to inventions, I would say that laziness is the prime reason the thing was invented in the first place. Take for example the remote control. My parents came from a world where you didn’t have a television, let alone a remote control. When they bought their first TV set, it was one of those huge black and white jobbies, where the only way to change the channel was to get off your keister and change it yourself. Of course in those days, there was only one television channel anyway, CBC, and you didn’t need a remote.
When we got really futuristic, we bought one of those new VCR contraptions; the one with the pop out compartment on top where you put in the tape. I remember this unit, as it had the first remote control I had ever seen, a wired remote control that my little brother always tripped over, causing the VCR to stop mid movie and also cause much grief to my parents. This particular VCR was the VHS model, thankfully. My parents first came home with the Beta-Max model, which was supposed to be the wave of the future, but it was klinky and difficult to work, plus it didn’t come with that cool wired remote control.
When we passed the inventor on the highway, I had to comment on his wonderful invention. “Great idea” I hollered out the window of my Corolla, He didn’t hear me, he was fast asleep on the hood of his car, while a dump truck headed up the highway on my side of the road, I hollered and sounded my horn, causing sleeping beauty to wake suddenly. He quickly turned his sign to stop and went back to sleep. If only he could hook up a wired remote control to get the sign to turn, but that would take too much work….So much for technology I guess.