Axl Rose repeatedly trashed them.
And Michael Jackson hung his son by the ankles from the balcony of one.
Me? I had an idea in one…
You know what they’re like. Hotel rooms I mean, just in case you’d not worked it out by now. Nothing to read except the bar menu and instructions on how to arrange to be woken by a machine at 5.30am. Nothing to eat except for an over-packaged, individually wrapped biscuit and a weak tea bag. And nothing to do, bar watching a rarely tuned TV or consider which of the 124 ingredients in that suspicious looking packet of fake hot chocolate might shorten your life span.
So it was that I found myself in a delightfully sensory-deprived moment, contemplating how to fill the time between The Simpsons and sleep, when my brain decided that if I wasn’t going to provide the entertainment, then it was jolly well going to do something about it.
I was lying flat on my back on the bed at the time, flaked out from a hard day in the server room and a long drive and looking forward to a nice hot bath and a beer, when I realized I couldn’t see the television from my current position.
And so did my brain.
Wouldn’t it be a good idea, I found myself thinking, if I could see the television, a mere two meters from my feet, without cricking my neck, laying down on my side, or asking reception to send up another four pillows?
The answer: Periscope glasses.
Just like normal glasses, but instead of lenses (or as well as, if you usually wear them), each side includes a built in mirror, angled such that if I was standing and looking straight ahead, I’d see my boots. Or, as on this occasion when on my back, I’d be able to watch TV whilst staring vacantly at the ceiling.
A sort of ‘heads down display’, if you will.
It was such a staggeringly good idea that I decided to patent it when I got back to the office. It could be refined of course, by making the mirror angles adjustable, or half-silvering them so that you don’t have to take them off to find your beer, or by building in some neat optic-electronics to tell you the time, or wake you up with a mild electric shock to the temples if your head tilts left or right.
So I went online the next day to find out if anyone else had already patented it. I couldn’t find any direct references, but what I did discover was a site called Free Patents Online. Not only are there other people out there with ideas like this, some of them are complete lunatics. Check out the Crazy Patents link on the site and see what you think.
Personally I think some people have too much time on their hands.
What are the maddest ideas you’ve ever had, and when/where do you have them?