Monday, March 23, 2009

Welcome to the Wheel World

     So, I spent a small part of my weekend watching my dad and his fiancée bowling, along with dozens of other people, most of whom I did not know.  That's not the point.  As I walked into the bowling alley, which was called "Mountain Bay Lanes" despite the fact that there are no mountains anywhere nearby and the nearest bay of any consequence is like 40 miles away, I noticed something that sort of struck a chord with me.I watched as about a half dozen people walked through the parking lot towards the entrance towing their bowling bags.  Yeah, towing their bowling bags, not carrying them.  They all had little wheels and extend-o handles so everyone looked like they were a tourist pulling their luggage through an airport food court.  And that's when it hit me: Holy shit, everything has wheels now!
     Jesus Christ, it took us long enough.  Archaeologists and historians got together outside of a water cooler at New Mexico State University one time and decided that we can't really tell who invented the wheel or exactly when.  The archaeologists though do know that the earliest example of a wheel that they found was about 5500 years old.  Yeah, 5500 years.  If you want a little perspective on how long that is, the United States is only a scant 240 years old-ish.  So think about that while you brush your teeth.  Anyway, the wheel has been around for at least that long, and most likely way longer than that, and we are just NOW getting around to putting wheels on everything?  I mean, come on.  That means that for 5500 years we have been carrying shit around that we could have been pulling?  There is no excuse for that.
     I am not terribly mechanically inclined, but I know that a wheel with an axle shoved through it isn't necessarily the most difficult concept to master, especially when it doesn't have to turn or drive anything on its own.  So why isn't everything wheeled?  I mean, our chairs are, which leads to countless hours of fun.  We just recently began putting wheels on our luggage within the last, say, 10 years.  Before then we were carrying heavy bags around with us.  That's crazy.  I don't know why those hockey players with those gigantic bags they haul around are still carrying them.  Those things should have wheels too, or maybe little skates because they are hockey players.  But whatever.  My bed even has wheels on it, which I find a little odd and a lot frustrating.  I used to have a couch with wheels on it.  We even jack up buildings and put wheels under them and move them around from place to place.  So we have even managed to stick wheels on our stationary objects.  
     Would somebody tell me why all those soldiers are toting 90 lb. packs around foreign countries?  That shouldn't be.  Those packs should have big wheels with huge treads on them and the soldiers should be pulling them around like pack mules.  In fact, with the military slated to spend $515.4 BILLION those things should be motorized and the soldiers should be riding them around like military-grade Segways.  I mean seriously, am I the only one thinking here?  Isn't there someone at The Pentagon who has thought of this?  I mean, there are thousands of employees there and no one could come up with tricked-out, off-road, severely weaponized Segway scooters for all the troops instead of those APCs and Hummers that keep getting blown to smithereens?
     So we have wheels on our houses, cars, and food but only when in a shopping cart or on the back of the Chinese Food Delivery Guy's bike.  So what is left?  Where do we go from here, Company?  Well, I think we go to ourselves.  Yeah, that's right.  Why are we still walking around?  Shouldn't we have wheels by now?  I mean, it's been FIVE THOUSAND freaking years, shouldn't have evolution taken care of us by now?  I guess that Darwin was a liar.  I mean, we have tried.  There was the roller skate and roller blades and those long things with wheels that cross-country skiers use to train during the summertime.  "But Big Dave, those things are all impractical" I can hear all you naysayers out there naysaying.  Don't you think I have thought of that, Company?  Don't you think the scientists have already tackled that problem?  Because they have.  I understand that strapping roller skates to your feet on a permanent basis is fine until you try to walk down stairs or climb a mountain or play hopscotch.  But it is super handy if you happen to be marooned in a roller skating rink during a snowstorm, now isn't it?  Anyway, everyone knows that it is impractical to have wheels on our feet at all times, which is why science invented those rolly-shoes like Tommy Tutone used to have.  Oh, they're great.  They look like regular sneakers, but then when you've got somewhere to go these little panels on the bottom pop out and you can put little wheels in and skate around.  They are delightful as Dr. J would say.  Really, seriously though, they are fantastic.  You can roll from your front door right to your kung fu class.  And I can't see how we have been living without that in our lives.
     So come on Darwin, get into the game.  We have managed to put wheels on just about everything to make our lives easier, it's about time you put some wheels on us.  Although, I am sure there are all sorts of things we have missed.  But I am plumb out of ideas.  If you come up with an idea though, let me know so I can steal it and patent it and get rich off of it so that someone can teach me how to roller skate so I can survive in the future.

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