Tracking down a ~2000s blog post about accidentally designing a car
April 28, 2020 2:09 PM   Subscribe

When I first started on the internet I remember reading a blog post by someone who explained their series of increasingly complex solutions for staying dry while walking in the rain, and ultimately realized they were designing a car.

It sorts of went like this...

I get wet when walking in the rain; use an umbrella; feet still get wet; stand on a wheeled platform (like a Segway); put a transparent panel in the umbrella to see where I'm driving; legs get wet, so extend umbrella down to the platform; I get tired standing up, so put in a seat; it would hurt if I drove into something, so make the umbrella a hard shell; oh, that's a car, I've designed a car.

Does that ring any bells with anyone? I'd love to see who wrote it and find out if it's anything like a remember.
posted by dunstanorchard to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It reminds me of an episode of 30 Rock where Alec Baldwin’s character is tasked with redesigning a microwave, which he starts doodling on a CAD program with his assistant, and he winds up with a Pontiac Aztec on the drawing board.
posted by slateyness at 3:49 PM on April 28, 2020 [6 favorites]

I don't know this post, but I'd love to see it, since it's something I do a lot when something is missing in my life...I can't tell you how many times I've invented the dishwasher and air conditioning, and once I accidentally invented roller skates.
posted by LadyOscar at 4:37 PM on April 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

I once invented a clothes dryer in a similar fashion. I'd love to read this post.
posted by mekily at 7:48 PM on April 28, 2020

Best answer: Is it this?

A hundred years late
DATE: 12/17/2003 09:05:22 PM
Sometimes I think I could have been an inventor. I'm serious. I'm always dreaming up ideas for things that would make life much easier.
Like, for instance, a couple of months ago I was driving home in the rain, and watching people walking. Getting wet, or struggling with umbrellas. And it made me think about how there should be like a little movable tent on wheels, that you could walk inside and not get wet at all, except for the soles of your feet. Like a great big umbrella, but going all the way to the ground and with air vents so you don't fog up your little clear vision panel. See? I wanted to help the wet people.

And then I thought how much cooler the movable umbrella/tent on wheels would be if you could sit down inside it and kind of steer it. Because most of the problem with walking in the rain, once you take the rain away, is the walking part.

And if you already had a little movable tent thingy on wheels that acts like a giant, full body umbrella and lets you sit down and steer, the creative side of my brain took a wild leap and says: "Motorize it!" At this point I was sitting at a red light with imaginary lightbulbs exploding over my head. This idea is GOLD, I'm telling you. Gold!

Of course, you'd have to be careful. With all those little motorized full body tent/umbrellas with people sitting inside them, you're bound to have some accidents, especially in a crowd. So you need to make the body out of something more durable than PVC or waterproof nylon. Because safety is a feature of Erin's Patented Dry-Comfortable-People-Moving-Self-Propelled Device. Durable ... probably some kind of light, yet protective metal shell.

And they probably wouldn't be much good on the sidewalks, because - crowded. So you'd have to have a separate part of the street for them to run on, where pedestrians aren't allowed. Now I'm getting crazy, but what about expanding them - making them large enough to carry two or even three people? You could sit and talk while you zoomed around in dry upholstered effortless aluminium-shelled steerable comfort in your pedestrian free areas.

It was then I realised I had just invented the car. Not so much uncreative. Or even derivative. Just a little late.

Next week: I invent the wristwatch. (Wouldn't it be great if you just had a little tiny clock you could carry around with you all the time? You could keep it somewhere handy - Oh! Strap it to ... your ... wrist...). And the toilet. (There should be urinals for women, because they look so much more convenient. Of course, we would need to be able to sit down, sooo ... oh crap).
posted by yogalemon at 6:03 AM on April 29, 2020 [8 favorites]

Response by poster: That’s it! Where did you find it? Amaaazing!
posted by dunstanorchard at 4:16 PM on May 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

I wrote it. Thank you for one of my very best pandemic moments!
posted by yogalemon at 6:33 PM on May 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: How amazing that you saw my post! Where would I have seen it? Did you have a domain that I’d remember?

I really can’t believe you saw my question. Good job, metafilter xx
posted by dunstanorchard at 11:40 PM on May 2, 2020

« Older Show Me the Tummies   |   Patio umbrellas for newbies Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.