Carole Townsend

(Not So) Common Sense
Some things just leave me scratching my head
By Carole Townsend

There are some things I run across in the course of a day that just beg the question,“Who on earth thought of this, and why?” You know what I’m talking about, those everyday items that either make your life a little bit easier or a little bit more difficult.



I have come up with a list of these items that, I feel sure, were invented by a man somewhere along the line. Guys love gadgets; they don’t really have to serve a purpose, as long as they look or sound cool. For instance: 

Hermetically sealed plastic packaging. Anyone who has survived a child’s birthday party or Christmas morning knows exactly what I’m talking about: that tough plastic packaging that molds perfectly to the item it’s designed to protect. The edges are sealed with a blowtorch, and then the whole thing must be heated in a high temp oven, then the edges crimped with a special tool. I have tried kitchen shears, steak knives, limb cutters, stomping and a laundry list of other techniques to try to break into this packaging, with no luck. It hurts my pride, but I inevitably end up handing the item over to my husband to break into (which he does every time, with very little effort, because I warmed it up for him).  

An avocado seeder. Completely unnecessary but a very cool gadget. A spoon does the same job. So does a finger, in a pinch. 

Different size tires. I can look at a variety of tires, and all I see are round black things. A man sees “22s” or “mudders” or “high performance.” Are different sizes and profiles really necessary? Don’t they just need to roll? 

Golf ball picker-uppers. Come on. It’s a sedentary sport already. You can’t bend over? 

The “pee-pee tee-pee,” a tent-like device designed for use while changing a baby boy’s diaper. Any mom of a baby boy knows there’s no avoiding a mishap here and there when you have a little boy in diapers, contraption or no contraption. Who needs to be looking for yet one more thing while the kid is squirming on the changing table? 

And maybe my #1 favorite silly invention most likely thought up by a guy:  the M-3 submachine gun designed for shooting around corners. It was a real machine gun with – you guessed it – a curved barrel. Talk about “shoot first, ask questions later.” And a secondary thought: If you had to conceal that thing while you carried it, well, how would you do that?

The world is full of whacky inventions that someone, somewhere along the line thought would be the best idea ever. What’s the funniest invention you’ve ever seen or heard of? 

Carole Townsend is a Gwinnett author and freelance writer. Her fourth and newest book, BLOOD IN THE SOIL, is slated for April 5, 2016 publication. It is the true tale of a crime that took place in Gwinnett County nearly 40 years ago. Her most recent book, MAGNOLIAS, SWEET TEA AND EXHAUST (July 2014, Skyhorse Publishing) takes a sidesplitting look at NASCAR from a Southern suburban mom’s perspective. Her first two books, RED LIPSTICK AND CLEAN UNDERWEAR (a book about our Mothers’ advice) and SOUTHERN FRIED WHITE TRASH (a hilarious look at the unique, charming and sometimes outrageous ways we Southerners conduct ourselves) earned Carole almost instant national fame, with her “distinctive humor and hysterical honesty,” – Los Angeles Times. Carole has appeared on local and national news and talk shows, including CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates. When not writing, she travels throughout the southeast region, teaching writers’ workshops, speaking to various civic and literary groups, and advocating for the health and well being of the family. For more information, visit