humor logo

JANUARY 2000 | VOL. 4, NO. 1



Goodbye 1990' taught us reliance on computers; we'll never be the same


German Language

"Belichicken" - New York Post headline referring to Bill Belichick resigning as head coach of the New York Jets after one day. He leaves the Jets with an unblemished record after two stints as head coach (and zero games coached).


Search Renaissance Online


Failed Invention Museum

Today at the Failed Inventions Museum, we a proud to bring you a wide assortment of items that were supposed to make life easier for everyone. The creative, ahead-of-their-time inventors of these products failed for a wide variety of reasons: budget constraints; a conservative buying public; countless mandatory warning labels; and, above all others, pure unadulterated stupidity.

You may feel a bit of sorrow for these well-intentioned purveyors of such necessary domestic designs, but hold back your emotions. These forward-thinking men and women don't want your pity, they want simply to be remembered along with the hallowed inventors of Bowflex, Tickle Me Elmo and Le Car. They work not for the consumer, but for their own integrity and desire to succeed in the cut-throat world of inventing about which many a sociological expert has exclaimed gleefully "There's nothing left to invent!"

"Nasal Drip" Bob Smitenhausen, inventor of the failed Rolled Tissue Hat (below left), doesn't buy into that bunk: "Would the Spree scooter be on the market if Honda had thought that all forms of transportation had been invented?" he asked. "If those geniuses has constrained themselves to thinking about who would buy their product, marketing, demand and all that other pointless junk, the world would have missed out on a sexy, trendy ride. Kind of a Little Rascal for youngs folks."

Smitenhausen applied this philosophy in the development of his unique hat, which combines a halo like device with a roll of what appears to be toilet paper to produce a useful device for those suffering through the "flu and flu-like symptoms." As his literature states, Smitenhausen's company Toiletries for the Mind, "'Nose' the pains of inconvenient health and beauty aids."

Enjoy your stay at the Museum, please don't touch the merchandise as they are literally one-of-a-kind items, and remember to stop by our gift shop where the unauthorized biography of "lactatin'" Sam Milla, inventor of the featured Man's Milk exhibit (below right), is on sale at 100% off the authorized retail price.

Rolled Tissue Hat
Rolled Tissue Hat
Toiletries for the Mind
Inventor: Bob Smitenhausen

Never again will you run out of tissue at the most inappropriate moments. Dates will finally flow smoothly when you can concentrate on your partner rather than on an embarrassing string of sniffles. Don't let the flu and flu-like symptoms control your life--look for help from a company that "nose" the pains of inconvenient health and beauty aids. 

Man's Milk
Man's Milk
Husbands Who Care
Inventor: Sam Milla

In today's busy world Mom isn't always around at dinner time--after all, there's spinning classes, pottery making and two hours on the expressway. Finally, Dad can take on a bit of the load himself with a little help from these delightful over the shoulder dinner holders. The backpack style and comfortable brace make the job a breeze, and junior will enjoy the selection of custom nipples and self warmers. After all: parenting is a two-person job. 

Magic Butter Stick
Magic Butter Stick
Cylindrical World
Inventor: Nelson "Pop" Infresh

Their creed is "everything in stick form." Glue comes in stick. Lip Balm comes in a stick. Cookie dough: stick. Deodorant: stick. Naturally the progression should move to butter, one of the most common cooking and seasoning items. Let's face it, removing a knife from the utensil drawer, slicing a pat of traditional butter, spreading it on a piece of toast and then washing the knife makes for a long, insanely drawn out morning. So eliminate butter-influenced tardiness; get to work on time with the Magic Butter Stick.

Chop Stick Fan
Chop Stick Fan
Inventor: Ven Chung

This amazing product is available in Asia only. Blowing on food to cool it has been proven as the spreading force behind the Black Death in the 14th Century. Rest assured the problem has finally been solved with this exclusive Chop Stick ventilation system. While these mini-propellers work their stuff, save your mouth for the truly tough work: chewing. Available in white (shown), black and mauve.

Day Dream Hard Hat
Day Dream Hard Hat
Ten Winks, Inc.
Inventor: Dan Winkle

You've had a long, hard day at work and you can't stop yourself from nodding off on the train home. You look ridiculous with your head bobbing up and down as you fight to stay awake, and your seat partner is none-to-appreciative when you use his shoulder as a rather lumpy pillow. Sleep easy with this adjustable, one-size-fits all sleep modifier. Ten Winks has produced a suction cup enhanced hat that keeps your head comfortably in place while you recharge your batteries. Your dreams have finally been realized.

Body Umbrella
Body Umbrella
Tsunami Corp.
Inventor: Roger Drissel

Keep everything dry on those days when a standard umbrella just isn't enough. This clear plastic encasement covers your entire body, keeping you safe in even the most torrential of down pours. Warning: keep away from small children; placing any non-Tsunami plastic bags over your head may cause possible suffocation and death.

* * * *


PHOTOS copyright © Kenji Kawakami; contributed by Gregory Ridolfi.