People are always looking for ways to make other people's lives easier, keep us from killing ourselves, and make us more attractive to women – and also make a buck in the process (of course). But sometimes a few of us definitely go a little too far when channeling our inner Thomas Edison (who was kind of an asshole, btw).
Here are some real, honest-to-goodness patented inventions unearthed by Scott Seegert in his recently published book, It's a Guy Thing: Awesome Real Innovations From the Underdeveloped Male Mind. The illustrations are the inventors' actual drawings, taken directly from the official paperwork filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office. What you're about to see is ridiculous. Even insane. But the sad reality is there are more than a few we secretly wish we had, if only as a conversation piece.
Albert's Helmet-Mounted Pistol (1953)
Why should we actually have to hold a weapon in our hand? We're guys. Our hands are too busy doing other guy things to be involved in a firefight. Our head isn't doing much. So, thought Albert, if I just strap a gigantic pistol to my melon I can keep my hands free for more important things. As Scott notes in the book, "Once this powerful weapon has been securely strapped to the noggin, a quick blow into the firing tube is all it takes to... send a large-caliber bullet rocketing in a generally forward direction." Not to mention cause severe whiplash and/or spinal injuries from the kickback of this monster.
Bill's Swimming Apparatus (1881)
You have to assume the only thing Bill was looking for here was a way to set himself apart from the other dorks at the beach: Hey ladies. Feast your eyes upon my Swimming Apparatus. Watch as I take my winged, rod-reinforced, full-body flotation suit and slide gracefully into the water. Where I sink like a winged, rod-reinforced, full-body flotation suited stone. Scott says, "Although we can't prove it, we have every reason to believe that Bill was especially proud of the way the hood turned out." And I'm betting the ladies were too.
Andre's Penis Exerciser (1995)
Only twelve short years ago Andre realized that LDS (Limp Dick Syndrome, look it up), was caused by a lack of circulation to the muscles of the penis. What he failed to realize was that his solution of having us drop trou and repeatedly lift a weighted lever with Little Bruno at full attention involved foresight and effort. Two things we guys don't have in huge supply. So when Viagra debuted three years later, enabling Little Bruno to happy dance for hours on end at the drop of a pill, woman lost the only piece of gym equipment that would have given them the same viewing pleasure the Leg Abductor gives us.
Larry's Bleacher Pants (2005)
It's the 21st century and still no one has invented comfortable bleacher seats. Oh sure, you could bring you own cushion, but how do you juggle that plus a 32 ounce beer, two hot dogs, chili cheese fries and a giant foam finger? You can't. So you go home with a bad case of Bleacher Ass. Unless of course you're comfortable enough in your masculinity to attend a game wearing a pair of Larry's Bleacher Pants, which come complete with "buttocks-shaped foam cushion incorporated therein." A very, very large buttocks-shaped foam cushion. From the drawings, I'm guessing either Larry had a severely tender butt, or he spent some time on Brokeback Mountain.
Squire's Anatomic Underwear (2000)
Women have the Wonder Bra, so Squire figured it's time we guys got to experience "a never-before-achieved level of attractiveness by allowing (our) natural carriage and authentic masculine style to be expressed in a way that reflects (our) own image." Meaning we no longer have to suffer with compacted, crowded, flattened genitalia. We are now free to let our manly bulges ride high and full and proud. The way God and Squire intended.
Jack's No-Slip Hairpiece (1995)
This is the Hair Club for Men meets the movie Saw. Jack's "innovation" over traditional hair replacement surgery, weaving, toupees, or plain old shaving yourself bald, is his far, far more humiliating No-Slip Hairpiece. Don't let the illustration alarm you. The plastic horseshoe looking thing is not stapled to your head. (Unless you request it.) It's merely permanently secured to your scalp with glue or "braiding." That piece of meat floating above his head is your new, thick, luxurious head of hair ready to be secured to your dome by driving those spikes into the horseshoe. Not even a hurricane force wind, or the embarrassment of a dead otter anchored to your scalp, could separate you from your new flowing locks. Just your dignity.
Dick's Daddy Saddle (2003)
I'm certain Dick's intentions were noble when he designed this saddle for loving daddies everywhere to wear while playing horsey with their little ones, but I just can't help but think that the next thing they hear after some guys strap this on will be, "I'm Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC..."
John's Head-Butt Game (1976)
1976 was a magical time. The country was celebrating its 200th birthday. We elected a smiling peanut farmer from Georgia to guide us after scandal rocked the White House. And those pesky child endangerment laws weren't on the books yet. Making John's Head-Butt Game the perfect rainy-day activity for your hyperactive little tykes. The rules are simple enough: two children try to knock each other off their respective floor discs using only their heads. While wearing wrist restraints. So the little rascals can't use their hands to cheat. Or break their unconscious fall. As Scott points out, "Sure it will be a little noisy at first, but within five or six minutes, the home will be as quiet as a coma."
Dan's Motorcycle Safety Apparel (1987)
Scott notes, "Guys are innately drawn to motorcycles. They're fast, they're loud, and they're an integral part of a favorite guy activity – crashing headfirst into things." Which is fine the first couple of times. Then the brain swelling starts to get a little tedious. Which is why Dan invented this ingenious safety apparel. Why bother with a helmet when you're wearing an inflatable suit tethered to a canister of compressed air? Becoming airborne after a collision triggers the suit to cover your arms, legs and head in a way reminiscent of Maj. Don "Joey" West's body armor in 1998's Lost in Space. Only much less effective.
Harold's Pogo-Copter (1969)
Scott says that nothing "captures the very essence of guyness any better than Harold's Pogo-Copter." It's hard to disagree. How can you when everything we guys love - riding on things, showing off, putting ourselves in mortal danger - is combined into one incredible invention? The idea is to jump up and down on a wheeled pogo stick. Which would be dangerous enough all by itself. But Harold decides to up the peril ante by adding large whirling helicopter blades that spin dangerously close to your cranium. So you can attempt to make the thing FLY. A wheeled, flying pogo stick with blades whipping near your head. Lawyers everywhere just wet themselves.
BONUS: Tom's Cleavage Revealing Pants (2002)
Now here's an invention guys can really get behind. During his research Scott found that occasionally "a guy will patent an item that he designed specifically for women, usually in an attempt to enhance his own ogling experience." This is one of those occasions.
Tom designed his Cleavage Revealing Pants to "allow onlookers to appreciate the wearer's butt cleavage." And what guy doesn't love to appreciate a little female butt cleavage? Chest cleavage is so five years ago. So we're with you Tom. As long as guys promise never to wear them. Ever.