It’s funny how things, items, objects, have a pre-life of odd curiosity before they become an essential commodity.
Toad. May be a frog actually, but it looks good anyway
The car, for example, was, in the black and white days, a plaything for the rich. As documented in Toad of Toad Hall, that well known historical sociological study of class antagonism and fashion trends for Toads. But once Mr Ford started to make a million cars a year, the fate was sealed for the Palestinians – the slaughter of thousands of innocent people because they happened to live on top of some rather sticky black stuff. Although on a more positive note it did lead to the Equal Pay Act.
The mobile phone was also one of those items that started life as something to be ridiculed and looked at with derision. An object the size of a house brick, and weighing more than the above mentioned car, was the exclusive fashion item of the “Yuppy”. The Young Upwardly Mobile Professional Person, whom we loved to mock. But now? Who hasn’t got what they once named a cell phone?
Apparently, the ‘Wheel” had a similar birth. Researchers claim that the wheel was invented and left unused for centuries because no one could think of a use for it. I mean. Mrs Wheel obviously came up with this great idea of a circular stone or pice of wood, started rolling it about and Mr Wheel is like, “What the fuck are you doing with that?” Mrs Wheel is all, “It’s great, look, it rolls all the way down the hill, right to the river. Also, if you rest it on your head, it stops your hairy back getting wet from the rain. Also, if you walk around it, it doesn’t have any corners, I mean, that’s good, right?”
“Stop with the inventing things, what was the last thing you invented?, that was dangerous”. Mrs Wheel answers “You mean fire?” “Yes”, says Mr Wheel, “look at my hand, it is still red and it hurts when I bend my fingers”. “I told you, you couldn’t eat it, but would you listen, oh no. You always think you know best”. “But what is the use of that ‘Fire’ thing? You can’t eat it, you can’t wear it, you can’t sit on it, it’s basically useless”. “It is nice and warm” says Mrs Wheel.
“Why don’t you stick to collecting roots and berries, like all the other women? And let me get on with my hunting?” Mr Wheel challenges. “Hunting, hunting, what have you ever caught?” exclaims Mrs Wheel. “Well, those fallow deer can run like fuck and I just can’t grab any of them”, Mr Wheel answers. “Why don’t you use this spear I invented?” Mrs Wheel says. “I’m not using that”, Mr Wheel says in disgust, “I use the traditional methods of hunting, it has always worked for me”. “That’s the point, it doesn’t work, you fool, you don’t catch a damn thing”, Mrs Wheel replies, as she continues to make what will become the plough.
So, the Wheel was left unused in some stone age garden shed for millions of years, until some dope got a really stupidly huge wheel and a tiny tiny wheel, put them together and called it the “Penny Farthing,” wore a ridiculously long moustache, rode around trying to impress people, who I assume looked upon the “Penny Farthing” in the same way as we did the mobile phone and the car. Until we all decided that we couldn’t do without them, started to bomb the fuck out of some poor bastard because what would we do without a car.
So, what is the next big essential item?, I predict the “electric scooter”.