THE BLOG

Call My Friends at Invent Help!

03/03/2015 10:42 pm ET | Updated May 03, 2015

2015-03-03-468pxThomas_Edison2.jpgPhoto by Louis Bachrach

Have you seen George Foreman's commercial for InventHelp?

"People ask me all time, George, how do I get my idea in front of companies... call my friends at Invent Help."

It would be fun to find out how much George Foreman earns for these outbursts. But what's even more interesting is the question of how many people there are out there to justify the existence of a company like Invent Help? Hundreds, thousands, millions? How many undiscovered Thomas Edisons are there? How many Alexander Graham Bells are iterating the latter day equivalent of "Mr. Watson -- come here -- I want to see you."

OK not everyone is going to invent the light bulb or the telephone. Not everyone is going to experiment with electricity like Ben Franklin did in his famous kite experiment. Many of the big discoveries -- for example, quanta and the Higgs boson -- either have been or are in the process of being made. NASA is already planning for a journey to Mars. What type of ideas is George talking about and what are the kinds of things that his friends at Invent Help ending up having to vet.

For instance has anyone come up with a gadget that will enable you to unravel a new roll of toilet paper in the middle of the night? You know how irritating it is when your hand circles round and round and can't find that first piece and finally how badly you feel when you decide to simply rip through several layers to start the ball rolling, as it were? How about an alarm which goes off when you don't put your keys where they belong -- so you don't have to be late for work when you're trying to find them? How about a "restaurant mediator" that takes the decision making out of restaurant going? Does your Saturday night on the town become a test of wills between you and your wife, with someone always getting the bottom end of the stick? This new patent will improve your marriage and enable you to blame a bad meal on a device rather than a person. OK and digging down deep what about some modern inventions that have the global implications of electricity or the telephone? How about a pocket nuclear Armageddon detector? Or a peace monger, an innocuous little antenna like device that's already brought about peace between seemingly intractable adversaries. What about the polar ice cap capper? Or the 3-D crapper? If you have any ideas like this, call George Foreman's friends at Invent Help.

This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture.