By Ron Marr
I’ve never been particularly adept at making money. I have a plethora of earth-shattering ideas, but for reasons that leave me perpetually baffled, the world at large has no interest.
The masses never shared my passion for a nationwide chain of gizzard-on-a-stick franchises. They lacked the vision to live the dream that could have been the North American Fantasy Curling League. My attempts to combine ping-pong and skeet shooting fell upon deaf ears riddled with No. 8 shot.
My last great flash of commercial insight, targeted toward the wholly untapped market of laptops, tablets, smart phones, and flat-screen TVs owned by the Amish, was treated with nothing less than wholesale derision. I sincerely believed that Grand Theft Buggy would be the video-game phenomenon of the century. The producers of ABC’s Shark Tank refused to take my calls.
Thus I remain on the edge of the poverty abyss, an aging Missouri hermit whose flashes of marketable brilliance are appreciated only by three dogs, two of which might be faking the accolades in order to better satisfy their insatiable desire for Kibbles and Bits and Oinkies. As an aside, I'm really jealous of the guy who invented Oinkies. First-hand observation tells me these tubular chunks of smoked pig’s ear may well be the canine version of OxyContin. The realization that, somewhere in America, a smoked pig’s ear magnate resides in the lap of luxury causes me no small degree of consternation. That’s largely because I, failing to find an investor to fund my line of Shroud of Turin beach towels, remain so poor that even Obamacare doesn’t want me.
Luckily, and much like my combination eye dropper/fly swatter (“kill flying pests while giving your corneas a relaxing ocular bath!”) an epiphany struck me smack between the peepers.
While it may be true that building a better mousetrap will cause the world to beat a path to your door, such a level of success is not without its own set of nightmarish headaches. For starters, the thought of strangers prowling around my yard and endlessly ringing the bell is a torture Dante forgot to mention when describing the fourth circle of hell. I’m not exactly what you’d call a people person, and though I didn’t invent privacy, I’m pretty sure I perfected it.
Second, I’ve come to understand that I’ve been looking at everything from the wrong angle. We live in an era when reality truly is virtual, spin is everything, and Twitter trends carry far more weight than a product’s quality or effectiveness. I honestly can’t remember the last time I bought a gizmo that worked as well as advertised. I think it may have been back in 1991 when Presto introduced the Tater Twister (“make curly fries at home!”). Sadly, the Twister was not well received by consumers. It was soon yanked from production and consigned to the culinary graveyard reserved for countertop appliances that perfectly carve and shape delicious tubers. This was when I should have realized the Apocalypse was nigh. There’s just something twisted about a world that doesn’t get all giddy at the notion of making curly fries at home.
Thus, I have relaxed to the inevitable and accepted that I will likely remain poorer than twice-chewed dirt. I will soldier on and stick with my strengths, which largely consist of sitting down, lying around, catching catfish, petting dogs, engaging in generalized idiocy, and endeavoring to not worry about things I can’t control.
The epiphany? It was blatantly obvious. The wise man does not waste his time building a better mousetrap. He simply waits for stupider mice.