This weekend let us examine those applications of human ingenuity and enterprise that are mysterious, inexplicable, and basically make us go: Wow, someone spent their life making this a reality. Could anything be sadder than that?
What are the most unnecessary human inventions?
I must choose scented toilet paper. Which, to be fair, is probably not the result of someone’s life’s work but more likely the ghastly outcome of a corporate marketing brainstorming weekend, but it’s an idea that is completely unnecessary even as a marketing idea because it’s not like people need any sort of extra incentive to buy toilet paper. And what sort of competitive edge does it offer? Who wants to rub some of their most sensitive bits with chemicals? I wish I knew where this came from… but Japan is probably a good guess, what with the extra disgust the Japanese seem to have about all things related to the toilet. I don’t recall ever seeing scented TP in supermarkets in the New York area — though I certainly wasn’t looking, either — and I don’t see it offered on any U.S. shopping sites, such as Amazon or Peapod (the grocery-delivery service I used in NYC). The product is definitely a must-avoid in U.K. shops, however… though now that I think on it, I’m not sure if it was as ubiquitous only two years ago, when I first arrived in London. So maybe it’s new here, too. Let’s hope it goes the way of New Coke and disappears from shelves soon.
(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD/QOTW, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTW sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)