types whine about what evil weapons of mass destruction A-bombs are and how
it's a crime that they were ever invented. Ignore them and look at the
positive side of these city-busters.”
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The networks, news magazines, self-important
newspapers, pundits, columnists, barbers -- just about everyone and every
institution -- are compiling lists of the millennium's most important people,
inventions, events, athletes, recipes, news stories and whatever. Most are
just lists of what all the self-absorbed news people think is important.
Those self-described experts never bother to ask normal people what they
think. As a result, the great masses of regular thinking people are snubbed
because their ideas about what's important are never written about. Well, the
hell with them. I have compiled a list of the greatest inventions of the past
1,000 years. Here they are in order of greatness:
deodorant and anti-perspirants. God knows how awful life and work was
without these sticky, smeary things that you slather and spray onto your
pits. Some will rhapsodize about how earthy and real the smell of the
unperfumed, unanti-perspirized armpit is, but that's because they're crazy.
Before the invention of these products, people stunk, stank and were stinky.
Homes stunk. Factories reeked with the sharp, acrid smell of body odor.
Offices stunk. Subways stunk. Buses stunk. Churches stunk. Can you imagine
the big stink at a major league baseball stadium in the summer? Whew! Men and
women shied away from having cheap, degrading extramarital affairs because
their pits smelled so bad. But now we can go days without actually sweating.
These are not only the greatest inventions of the past 1,000 years, but the
greatest of all time
2. Underalls™ Pantyhose. Holy smokes!
These things were invented to rid shapely women of those unsightly panty
lines and to give horny men the impression that women in the office, on the
street, at the hospital and in church are going underwearless. They work!
There is nothing like seeing a bouncy, jiggling -- forget it. Just know that
heterosexual men and lesbians are grateful.
3. Alka-Seltzer™. Penicillin isn't the
wonder drug; these round tablets that make water go fizz are. Sick to your
stomach from too much booze? Feel ready to throw up all that steak and roast
beef you ate an hour ago? Well, don't. Pop a couple of these tablets into a
glass of water, watch them go fizz, drink the stuff and in just a few minutes
you'll be able to booze and eat again. All the penicillin in the world can't
4. The Atom Bomb. Sensitive types whine
about what evil weapons of mass destruction A-bombs are and how it's a crime
that they were ever invented. Ignore them and look at the positive side of
these city-busters. There is a primal sense of satisfaction in knowing that
with the press of a button your guys can melt entire countries and burn up
the oceans. No one likes to be messed with; people don't and countries don't.
But people and tiny countries are constantly messing with us because they're
jealous that we can shop 24 hours a day and because we live in a country that
nurtures inventors like Ron Popeil and has all his wonderful products. So
it's nice to know that when they hold mass demonstrations to denounce us,
hijack our airplanes and refuse to buy our stuff, we can incinerate the pesky
little annoyances just like that.
5. Pop-top Beer Can. Before this amazing
invention came along alcoholics and heavy beer drinkers had a horrible time
of it when they were out on a boat, in the woods, in the basement or in a
dark closet without their pointy, steel can openers. Many a thirsty alkey cut
their lips and chipped their teeth trying to bite open metal beer cans
because they forgot their can openers. This invention changed that, and now
beer-drinking boozers will never again be in a panic about being unable to
press their quivering lips to frosty cans of carbonated, fermented malt
beverage -- except when they run out of beer.
6. Asphalt. This combination of tar and
coarse and fine aggregate has made it possible for humble road builders to
become millionaires and billionaires. Before asphalt, roads were either dirt,
or they were solid, hand- and custom-built things that lasted and lasted and
lasted. Look at that road in Rome that is named after a pizza sauce. It's
still around and still in good shape. But the guys who built it were out of
jobs long ago because they built it to last and because once it was done they
weren't needed anymore. So being a road builder was kind of a dead end job.
But asphalt changed that. Sure, its smooth surface offers a comfortable ride,
but once it starts crumbling, which it does real fast, the ride gets bumpy,
wheel rims get bent and front-end alignments go out of whack. And then people
complain, and the stuff has to be scraped up and new stuff laid down, and now
road builders have lifetime jobs and they make millions laying down asphalt
on the same stretch of road every couple of years.
7. Pop Tarts™. Piping hot, flaky crust
and rich, luscious fruit fillings right out of the toaster every morning!
These things are really more like two sheets of cardboard with a sliver of
rubbery fruit paste in the middle. But lazy parents who refuse to cook
breakfast can tell themselves that by feeding their kids this junk they have
provided the tots a nutritious breakfast.
8. Printing Press. Everybody includes
this on their list, and so will I. But this mid-millennium invention almost
put monks in Belgium out of work (they used to copy books by hand) and almost
deprived us of some of the strangest tasting and most expensive beers in the
world. For the monks, when they aren't praying, make some incredible beer.
9. Polaroid Camera. This invention freed
up millions of porn artists and curious couples to follow their bliss.
Before, you couldn't take revealing pictures of the spouse or loved one
because almost no one except perverts and underworld types would develop
them. And if you tried to get your home porn developed at a regular film
developing place, they'd call the cops on you once they saw what was on the
prints. This 60-second picture machine, which prints out photos in the
privacy of your own bathroom, changed that. People can now get naked, take
pictures, and in 60 seconds look in horror at what they really are.
10. Guillotine. Ouch is the word for
this one. Actually, not really. This grizzly machine was so quick and
efficient that the heads it lopped off bodies were still conscious after they
fell from the body onto the wooden platform or into the basket underneath the
blade. The executioner would pick the head up by the hair and show the head
its headless body. Then the executioner would turn the head toward the
gathered crowd. The people would taunt the head and ask it where its body
was. Oftentimes the head would try to talk back to the crowd. This invention
is important because, even more than the A-bomb, it shows just how sick a
species we really are.
©2004 Dennis Domrzalski All Rights Reserved