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June 9, 2012

Yesterday I was patching some porch planking, which involved sliding a piece of tongue-and-groove between two existing planks – no easy task. First I had to scrape all the excess paint and spackle off the boards, clean the dirt out of the grooves, and meticulously measure the boards (and the exact angle of the end cut). Once I slid my piece into place there was no guarantee it would ever come out – no matter how good or bad it looked.

This is the kind of project to which Murphy’s Law applies in full. If my board didn’t fit right, it would probably be impossible to pull out and fix. But if it did fit, chances are – a week or two down the line – it would pop out of place and I’d have to come back and fix it. Again.

This is what I did: I applied a liberal bead of Loctite adhesive caulk to the grooves and slid my piece right into place. I didn’t even need to bang on the end of it with a hammer. True, I had a very short window of opportunity to slide it back out if it wasn’t a beautiful fit, but fortunately it was. The caulk acted as a lube to get my board into its spot, and – once dry – would glue it permanently into place. Glube: my million dollar idea!

A quick Google search confirmed my fear: like most words I make up, someone else has already discovered it – and given it a cynical, depressing definition: “A cheap generic version of a personal pleasure lubrication that loses its viscosity, thus resembling an adhesive. Essentially, lube becoming glue-like.” So much for innovation in the post-modern world.

Then again, perhaps it’s not so much a matter of who comes up with an idea first as it is of who’s most successful in popularizing it. As my dad’s old friend Alan used to ask: what’s more important, information or how information is transmitted? As a kid I didn’t understand the question, but now I do. Media blitzkriegs and political smear campaigns have all but proved his point. Truth is irrelevant if it doesn’t reach the people.

By this reckoning, Glube still has a chance. If I could invent a slow drying glue which acts as a lube for its initial application period, the urban dictionary’s definition would be forced to change. Or at least drop the ‘personal pleasure’ part. But I know nothing about chemistry and have no desire to learn. I just want to come up with ideas and sell them. Idea Man, like Tim Robbins’ character in The Hudsucker Proxy (you know, for kids…). NOT like Paul Allen, thank you very much!

Does anybody know of a position in a morally sound earth-friendly company for a high-concept wordsmith like me? I’m your huckleberry… Have Brain – Will Travel.


From → Rants

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