6 PM Monday 28 May 2012 Nunhead Heights
If my patent attorney father were still alive I’d ask him to do a patent or design application search.
He once searched my idea for using Velcro fasteners for sneakers. That was before the internet and Lexis/Nexis legal search or whatever they have now. And to show how long ago it was: Velcro was so new I’d never seen one on sneakers. 1979?
My father gave me the bad news: Velcro on sneakers was patented in the USA by German sneaker company Puma. The Nazis had screwed us again.
My invention is a way of making soap last longer.
L’Oreal Crème Gloss hair color has a little plastic opener that, when broken off, one can stick it into the bottom of the soap bar to make a perfect soap rest.
When you put the soap on the thing-a-majig side the water drains off and the bar lasts longer. Much less yucky mushy soap scum.
I don’t have the time or the energy to develop it. You take it and see if you can do something with it – make a couple of dollars from it. Tell people you got the idea from me. Just a warning, it may be too similar to the label on the bottom of the English Leather soap.
I have two lodgers. The Inland Revenue knows about them and so does the Southwark Council tax people. I am not going to lie like an MP.
One of the tenants always put the soap the wrong way – well, half the time. He doesn’t seem to care about my invention.
Fidel is black. Afro-Caribbean. He calls himself “mixed-race” since his father is Scottish. Actually, he is just English.
I used to have a rule: I would rent rooms in my flat to anyone as long as they weren’t English. Greeks, Ivory Coasters, and Japanese but not the English. English people know their rights. Hot water, door locks. They won’t massage the landlord’s feet.
Now, I will even rent to English people. And if that doesn’t show the world I am not a racist I don’t know what does.
[I am tolerant. And isn’t that what makes a person English? Tolerance? And isn’t tolerance just seeing something you don’t like and putting up with it? Putting up with it is so English. Tolerance = Englishness.]
Well, it finally got to me, Fidel’s disobedience. I texted him today and told him that I was suspending his soap privileges. He would not be allowed to use the soap until I believed he would put the soap on thing-a-majig side.
I am mental.
Even if each tenant puts the bar of soap down on the wrong side half the time, allowing for chance that each side will be put down half the time,
and that by putting the soap down on the wrong side increases the deterioration of the soap 50% more than if it was on the right side,
and each bar lasts one month with the L’Oreal soap rest, and I pay £1 ($1.50) for three bars of soap,
then we are talking about two or three ruined bars of soap a year.
“A man is what he thinks about all day long.” Said many famous people.
I am spending hours a year on a dollar’s worth of soap when I should be writing jokes, calling for gigs and going outside in the beautiful Nunhead Heights sun.
And if that doesn’t tell you why I am not a success in life, nothing else will
Then again, if every bar of soap in England had the L’Oreal Soap Rest, we’d save 20 or 30 million bars of soap a year in England alone that would have gone down the drain clogging our sewerage facilities and polluting our water. And that is just here in England.
@lewisschaffer on twitter
Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous in Soho
Every Tuesday & Wednesday 8pm Free Admission
Reserve at www.sourcebelow.com