I ran into a mental inventor a while back and it put me to thinkin’. You know the kinda person I’m talkin’ about, the ones that get the ideas that years later someone else makes money on.
Take for instance, that fellow who rolled the first stogie and smoked it. Chances are he tried several kinds of flammable organic herbage before he discovered tobacco. Buffalo chips mighta burned too slow or smokin’ that ol’ dry Coastal Bermuda coulda led to a serious case of chapped lips. When you think about it, a feller’d looked pretty stupid suckin’ on a dried possum tail. I expect in the end he was canned, divorced and banished from the tribe.
I always thought I’d like to meet the guy who came home from work one day and said, “Martha, it occurs to me it would be more convenient if we moved the outdoor john inside the house.”
Now, necessity is not always the mother of invention. Hula hoops, fender skirts, square headlights, peacock feathers, horse legs, AMTRAC and digital watches that take two hands to tell time; those things that appear only to satisfy fashionable, political or heavenly whims. But, somebody with an imagination had to come up with these brain storms. Mental inventors are not restricted in their thinking by such mundane considerations as practicality, purpose, cost or other people’s opinions.
I’m sure the percentage of successes is small but if you’ve got a large volume of ideas the bad ones will be culled out before any harm is done. The only exception to this I can readily think of is the United States Congress. But for the most part free thinkers are good for us. So the next time one of these mental inventors suggests we cover west Texas with pie melons and harvest the oil, I’m gonna listen up. It might go the way of oyster shell supplement and comfrey but then again it might be as handy as a pocket on a shirt.
See, somebody had to think up the idea that people would be crazy enough to play the cattle futures before they actually put it on the board and proved it.
BAXTER BLACK, DVM, has been rhyming his way into the national spotlight and now stands as the best selling cowboy poet in the world. He has achieved notoriety as a syndicated columnist and radio commentator.