LEAKING COFFEE

Mug© 2018 Bill Murphy

At my age, there are times when I have difficult getting all my ducks in a row.  Today was one of those days.

I was preparing to leave for a work-meeting of my writer’s group.  We were to assemble a display of group projects. While keeping one eye on the clock so as not to be late, I was busy gathering the supplies I’d need: two large aluminum display easels, notebook, pen and pencil, razor knife… and a grande-size coffee in a plastic travel mug – without a lid.  I’ve lost the lid.

As I walked out the door, I decided I might need a light jacket.  “You left the jacket in the car,” my wife remarked.

Reaching the car, I sat the coffee on the hood, put everything inside, and located the jacket – carelessly tossed on the back seat.  Then I jumped inside, and was on my way.

But… one of my ducks had gotten out of his row.

I backed into the street, then headed the 100 yards or so to the intersection, and turn left. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw a red flash… or something.  Coffee mug!

I’d left the travel mug on the hood, and somehow, it remained there until I made that hard left at the end of our street.  I jumped out to behold a truly amazing sight!  The now empty travel mug lay in the street almost exactly where I began my turn.

From where it lay, a long light brown wet 90 degree arc was painted on the street.  It was a ‘perfect’ arc, smooth and uniform.  It could not have been rendered better by a street artist using a compass.

I still drink my coffee the way my grandmother taught me 75 years ago – cream and sugar – heavy on both.  Knowing that surely there was coffee on the car (which is white) and knowing this would dry to a sticky mess, and knowing that we had bottled water in the car, I had the means to wash down the offending portions of the vehicle.

About this time an elderly couple (obviously older than me) pulled along side.  “Are you leaking water?” he asking.

“No, coffee,” I replied.

 

 

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IF I COULD INVENT SOMETHING

A writing challenge of the Little Egypt Writer’s Society   65000_white_1 copy

© 2018 Bill Murphy

Wouldn’t you agree that most inventions are the result of someone attempting to make work easier… and by default, life easier?  Invention is the obvious spin-off of ‘work smarter – not harder.’

I received my inventive spirit from my father.  He loved to ‘tinker.‘  When I was around 10, dad saw a simple wind-turbine which inspired him to see other possibilities.

The turbine didn’t have traditional blades.  Instead, it had a series of 1/4 spheres, ‘cups’ which caught the wind.  Dad then remembered the loud screech which aircraft tires made when they hit the ground on landing… burning away expensive tires as they contacted the ground.  If the tires were already TURNING before the plane touched down, he reasoned, rubber would not be needlessly wasted.

Dad figured that if RUBBER quarter spheres were molded onto the outside edges of aircraft tires, the forward speed of the plane would make the tires spin before they touched the runway… a huge saving on tires!  Years later we learned that this was actually tested, but proved to be impractical.

Then during the mid to late 50s, I had an aviation idea of my own, one having to do with ‘winglets‘ for droppable fuel tanks. This too was tested in the late 50s.  Alas, it too proved to be impractical.  Oh well.

Fast forward to 2018.  Our nest is no longer empty.  We have a daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter ‘temporarily’ living with us.  What do they say about ‘too many cooks spoil the broth?’  This I know this for sure, too many cooks can really mess up a kitchen… and a microwave.

Our microwave is 4 or 5 years old.  With attention, it has been kept looking almost new. The number one labor saving device in our kitchen is a $2 microwave splatter shield… when used.  Simply USING IT is the key!  Verbal reminders don’t seem to get the job done. Even signage hasn’t always worked.  It is so frustrating… to me.

HERE’S MY IDEA FOR A MICROWAVE, TIME, AND SANITY SAVING INVENTION.

I’d love to have a splatter shield somehow electronically LINKED to the microwave, so that the microwave will operate only when the splatter shield is properly in place. Period.  No over-rides.  No shield = no cook.

Yes, I know, “But it only takes 2 or 3 minutes to wipe down the inside of the microwave. Big deal!”

But let’s face it… those who don’t have the will, energy, or 3 seconds of time to simply pick up the shield and use it… are NOT the one’s who feel a burning desire to roll up their sleeves and spend 2 to 3 minutes cleaning up a big splattered mess.

Now where did I put my soldering iron?

 

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