Just in time for Father’s Day: Jan McCanless, author of the Beryl’s Cove Mysteries, is known for her wit, and here’s her essay on her “new” inventions to lighten your day. Don’t miss her books, either, filled with the same humor, fun reading for all. Here’s Jan to bring a smile to your day:

I’ve just invented the neatest toy, it’s called a Hula Hoop!

How does the saying go, a day late and a dollar short? Describes my lifestyle to a ‘t.’ While I have never been accused of being lazy or slack, I have been known, sometimes, to be a wee bit slow to find out things. It only took me 15 years of owning my electric can opener to discover it was also a knife sharpener – – -who knew? I’ve owned a computer now for oh, about a dozen years, and this past weekend, I figured out how to use the printer – – – – I feel so empowered!

Having all this self confidence, and empowerment, I sat down and thought I would come up with a really peachy keen idea for a new toy. It’s a round, tube thingy, with a large hole in the middle, and you put it around your waist, wiggle your hips like you are doing the hula, and spin it all at the same time. I’ve dubbed it a Hula Hoop. I was very proud of my invention, until I applied for a patent, and what do you know? It’s already been invented, decades ago! Why didn’t somebody tell me?

All this slowed me down somewhat, but, never let it be said, I don’t have sticktoittiveness. I have come up with another great idea, this one even better than the Hula Hoop, and it takes less brain power. And, I can lay in my hammock while I enjoy it. I have always loved pets: dogs, cats, fish, rabbits, I love them all, and over the years have enjoyed the company of many animals. When we lost the last of our 4 cats, it coincided with some remodeling and redecorating we did, so, spouse and I decided that we would leave the pets to others. He’s getting too old for them anyway, but, there is a way to enjoy a pet without the mess and cleanup AND vet bills. It’s called a Pet Rock, and I have even made a box with holes in it to carry the pet rock around in. The holes are so it can breathe, doncha know.

I was so excited about my invention, I called the kids and told them about it. “What happens when the rock dies?” one of my smarter offspring asked. “Well then, I’ll invent the Pet Rock cemetery,” I told them. “Been done,” they offered. You know, I’m starting to resent all these patent people for their comeuppance; they obviously don’t know a genius idea when they see it.

I went back to my hammock, where I do my best “work”, and put my thinking cap on. I’m never at a loss for ideas, you see. In the meantime, one of my sons delivered a load of gravel for my garden, and, as he dumped it all in the yard for me, he shouted out that the pet rock I invented had ‘babies.’ I’m definitely going to have to speak to these kids about their attitude. In the meantime, I’m going to stick to writing, – – – -and my hammock.

There’s the old adage that says, what ‘goes around, comes around,’ so I’m sure my ingenious inventions will have relevance again someday.

My brother always had a way with words, he too, one enjoyed a brisk ‘sit’ now and then, and when told something, he would always offer these words of wisdom: “I wish you had said something before you spoke.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself!

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