Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The Stupidest Invention Ever

Dear Reader,

Whilst purchasing a cup of coffee the other day I was struck once again by the presence of one of the most pervasive and useless inventions of our time. Not the cup of coffee, that would be silly. Without coffee I would be more tolerant, less stressed and more likely to accept the failings of the object in question without complaint. Where would the fun be in that? 

This invention is far more irritating than any other object to be found in the vicinity of a coffee provider; it has a simple task, no moving parts and attempts to replace another object that has been doing the job perfectly well for hundreds of years.

Ladies and Gentleman, I give to you the Plastic Coffee Stirrer.

In all it's glory...

£4.99 for a thousand, a mere £0.049 for a single stirrer. A bargain surely? No, I would rather send £4.99 to one of my numerous Nigerian friends on e-mail (filed under spam) in the hope it might cover the administration fees involved in releasing the unfeasible amount of money owed to me by the Nigerian government. I would rather poke my own eyes out with plastic coffee stirrers except that this endeavor would undoubtedly prove impossible due to one of the myriad of flaws present in this astonishingly pointless object.

So, some of the problems I have so far identified with this object are listed below:
  • Size: The Plastic Coffee Stirrer comes in one size; shorter than the cup of coffee you have just bought. Of course what I wanted to do was buy a cup of coffee and then whilst holding the ineffectual paddle between thumb and forefinger stir the coffee and burn the tips of aforesaid digits to a crisp whilst pretending to enjoy the experience.
  • Rigidity: If bent beyond 1 degree from straight the stirrer will snap, rendering half of it an unwanted addition to your coffee and the remaining stub too short to poke out your own eye in frustration.
  • Heat resistance: None. I have found, however, that if held long enough in a cup of coffee the plastic will soften enough to negate the risk of snapping. Unfortunately this also render the object useless, as now it is so soft that it can no longer provide the required downward pressure on the wodge of sugar at the the bottom of the cup to disturb it.
  • Aerodynamics: Pointless. Surely the point of a stirrer is to stir the coffee. To do this, it must first disturb the liquid it is stirring. Why therefore are there holes in the bottom of the stirrer specifically designed to ensure the lowest amount of aerodynamic resistance possible. Hmm, I may have answered my own question here, this feature is to negate the risk of it snapping.
  • Biodegradable: Not a chance.
  • Cheap: If being able to buy one thousand completely useless things for not very much makes them cheap then yes, but, being in possession of most of my faculties and not being a complete fucking idiot I would have to say no.
Further exhaustive research has found me happening on a rather more simple and effective alternative, encountered at more up-market coffee providers. I am of course talking of the wooden coffee stirrer.

This looks interesting...

This has a number of advantages over the plastic coffee stirrer, a couple of which I will list below:
  • Size: Approximately that of your purchase, unless you buy really large drinks.
  • Rigidity: It has some.
  • Heat Resistance: It has some of this too.
  • Aerodynamics: Possesses an uncanny ability to disturb a liquid it is passed through.
  • Biodegradable: Compostable, apparently.
  • Cheap: Cheaper than the infinitely more crap plastic alternative.
Which begs one question, why does a sane human being who sets up in business to sell coffee provide these plastic nightmares as stirring implements when an infinitely better, cheaper and more ecologically sound solution appears to be at hand? Does the ultimate salesman represent the plastic stirrer manufacturer? The type that not only sells fridges to eskimoes, but convinces them that the occasionally combustible nature of the demonstrated device is a design feature to be cherished? I wish I had an answer.

Yet more exhaustive research uncovered someone who may have an answer, or if not an answer, at least a love of plastic coffee stirrers not shared by me. Check out RubberMullet, a dedicated collector of plastic coffee stirrers and possibly the only person in the world that cares about them. This site will be added to my sites of note, it is a gem.

Whilst rooting around in the dusty arse-end of my cutlery drawer the other day I found an interesting object nestled between my much loved plastic miniature nutmeg grater (impulse purchase, never used) and a mouldy Toffee Crisp (sentimental value). It was one of these...

What could this be?
I don't know what it is and why it and a number of it's friends are in my cutlery drawer, but it seems to be capable of doing the job of both the plastic and wooden stirrers. After some experiment I also found that if you fill the bowl part with sugar it delivers approximately the same amount as a sugar cube from our up-market coffee providers and also about the same as those pesky paper sugar tubes provided at other establishments.

Got to go, on the phone to the patent office, I may be onto something...

More soon dear reader xxx

PS , I  became the first to review the product in the first picture...

That told 'em!

1 comment:

  1. For me, I think there is no invention in this world that has nothing to do. Maybe it is just people doesn't really understand the point of the invention. Well I guess me too, I don't want to bother things anyway.