Out of Necessity Great Inventions are Born
My name is Stan G. Sack, I am an inventor. The words of my favorite American philosopher and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, capture the essence of who I am. He once said, “The ancestor of every action is a thought.” As an inventor I spend the majority of my time deep in thought. The cogs in my brain are constantly turning and thinking up new ideas. Only after I come up with a good idea can my hands leap into action. I drive my wife, Sarah, to the edge of insanity with my constant tinkering in the garage. In my life I have had many good ideas. However, I am known only for one small creation.
One wintery afternoon I was deep in thought, contemplating the many mysteries of the universe. My wife came grumbling through the door, irritated because once again on her trip home from the market she had dropped groceries along the path. Being the problem solver, I suggested that she might want to consider making a couple of trips into the village market so that her arms would not become overloaded. I knew that she did not like that suggestion when she huffed, turned on her heels, and grumbled about insensitive males all the way to the kitchen.
I am a thinker; that is what I do. Her reaction to what I thought was a logical solution started me thinking again. Surely there was something I could make to help her carry the groceries from the market to the house without leaving a trail of produce behind her.
I started by emptying her knitting basket of its needles and yarn. My dear wife was none to happy with me when the kitten began playing with a ball of yarn; undoing most of the blanket she was knitting for the baby down the street. I thought it was a good idea at the time. Then I emptied the metal pail we had in the garage. She did not like the idea of her fresh produce touching the dirty, rusty pail. I convinced her to give it a try. This time her bananas and grapes made it home, however, they were a soggy, bruised mess when she arrived home. Next I emptied the wooden crate our Christmas pears arrived in. The pears had been delicious, but now the crate was being used to collect the odds and ends of inventions that had gone horribly wrong. Sarah thought I had solved her grocery woes, until she tried to use the crate. When full, the crate is heavy and cumbersome. Back to the drawing board it was for me.
I spent many a restless night trying to come up with a solution for my dear wife’s dilemma. Months later I shot up in bed, I had a dream. In this dream I had seen millions of brown paper sacks used in markets all over the world. I would be famous! I would be rich! The next morning I marched into the village mercantile. My step was light; I was excited to get started. After speaking to Henry, the mercantile owner, he agreed to sell me a roll of the brown paper he used to wrap parcels for his customers. He also agreed to order several more rolls for me. I could barely control my excitement during the walk home. Getting started as soon as possible was the only thing on my mind.
Once home I sequestered myself in our garage. Like a dog with a bone, I was a man on a mission. My sweet Sarah brought my meals to me, staying long enough to clear the previous meal’s dishes and kiss me on my check. She had never seen me in such an absorbed state, she knew in her heart that I was creating something big. She knew this would be the invention to make up for all my past failures.
After what felt like an eternity, but was really only 72 hours, I emerged from the garage. I held up my invention for Sarah to inspect. She was delighted! We named it grocery sack. That very afternoon my wife went into the village to do her shopping. Under her arm she carried my beloved invention. I was on pins and needles while she was gone, nervous that this would be another failure. The smile on Sarah’s elated face as she came through the door told me that I had not been a failure; instead I had been a success. Now you know the story behind my greatest invention; the grocery sack, a simple device born out of a great thought.