Wednesday, November 6, 2013


This is kind of a silly post, but I’ve been thinking about this for awhile.  It begins with a message to God. 
God, if my vote has any meaning whatsoever, I would like to nominate that the following individuals have significant time off in Purgatory for the inventions and ideas they gave us here on earth that made life Oh so much better.
No, not the computer.  Not advances in medicine.  Not Global Positioning Systems (as good and helpful as these things are) I mean things that really make life easier by getting rid of petty annoyances. So, with no further ado, my list of inventions that should get people out of purgatory quickly:

Intermittent Wipers:  Back in my day there were only three settings for windshield wipers on your car.; (4 if you count broken)  1) Off  2) Normal  3) So bat crazy that you shouldn’t probably be on the road if you need this speed.  Why was it SO annoying when it was just spitting rain to turn the wipers on, wait to they squealed like a screaming banshee, turn them off until there was just enough rain to make seeing difficult, and then repeat.  Thank you Intermittent Wiper person for making significant advancement in driving joy.
Half Size Paper Towels:  I grew up in a thrifty Slovenian household.  The conserve and “use till it’s worthless” mentality reigned.  This included paper towel use.  “Did you really need a WHOLE paper towel for that little drip?” was not uncommon from my father.  Neither was half a ripped paper towel laying on top of the roll.  Of course you never got the good half and you would end up ripping another towel in half to finish the job.  Thank you Half Size Paper Towel Person wherever you may be.  I think of you almost every day.


Retracting Dog Leashes:  Unless you were a person of means and had money to burn, if you wanted a dog leash you didn’t go to a doggie boutique you went to the laundry department and bought clothesline.  Walking a dog with clothesline is not the proverbial “walk in the park.”  Let out the leash, quickly gather it up, let it out, try you best not to let it get wrapped around the dog’s legs, stopping every couple of minutes to try to untangle his legs from the rope.  Retractable Dog Leash Person, you made the relationship with man’s best friend even better.  Thank you.
Stick ‘em Notes and the closely related Non-Sticking Tape:  How on earth did we ever live without you?  Stick ‘em notes are everywhere – reminding me to do things that I would otherwise forget.  They are on forms that are mailed to me that say, “Sign here.”  I even write my homilies on them.  I used to write them on index cards but you know what; index cards fly away, slip off of the ambo, shuffle out of order.  Not so the Stick ‘em note, not so!  For they, like a honey kiss, cannot be driven away by the wind.  They are also of use in liturgical books when you need to remember names which I am particularly not good at.  “Markianus Broklowkowski Alexander, I baptize you in the Name of the Father . . .”  Of course, all advances can also be used for evil such as using them for advertisement on the front of my newspaper.  Thank you person who invented sticking things that don’t really stick.
Do you have any nominations for the “Get Out of Purgatory Early Inventions Awards”?  They qualifications are these:  1) It must be a mechanical device.  2) It made a petty annoyance better.  3) You wonder why nobody ever thought of this before.  3) It is with us to stay – it is not a fad.  4) It is such a part of our lives that we take it for granted.


Nan said...

A scientist at 3M, trying to make a super-adhesive, made instead a barely adhesive. One of his colleagues found a use for it and voila! Post-it notes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Father -

I nominate the individual who put roller wheels on luggage. I once had to race through an airport, hauling a 2 year-old and two large pieces of luggage. Doing that is no joke, but because I could pull the luggage behind me, it was possible!

Also, whoever came up with whole-house air conditioning and heating. Akron, Ohio may be in the northern midwest, but it gets mighty steamy here in the summer and equally frigid in the winter. Just to be able to sleep at night because of air conditioning and heating is quite a blessing!

Anyway, that's my two cents - aren't we lucky.

God bless you from St. Bernard Parish!

Anonymous said...

Adhesive stamps and peel away letter sealing. No tasting glue!

Anonymous said...

Father Valencheck, did you attend Akron U? If you did, when? Did you graduate?

r m kraus

JoAnne said...

white out - then even better - the dry tape kind, rather than the paint with a brush kind!

Anonymous said...

Value Time Cheese Curls! Oh, wait.."mechanical device". Well, I'm not sure if this qualifies, but I would say contact lenses/glasses! How many of us would be at a loss without them?! Thank God for them!

lgreen515 said...

Paper towels? That's what rags are for!

Anonymous said...

Having had to make use of the outhouse in my life time - I give a Get Out of Purgatory card to the person who invented the IN HOUSE flush toilet!
TP too. Although I guess I could use a half sheet paper towel!!!! : )

Anonymous said...

I can't believe nobody has said DUCT TAPE! I always have a roll at home and in my car.