My life is awash in ideas. I can think of a myriad of solutions for a menagerie of problems, but there’s seldom enough time in the day or people on staff to execute.
So, it always a matter of prioritization. The most pressing get the resources. The squeaky wheels or at least that’s one of the stories I tell myself.
Necessity, that’s where the grease goes.
Remember: You Matter. Your Stories Matter. Tell Them Well!
The Storytellers Channel
The Mother of Invention
I was sitting with my Mom and out of the blue she said, “I don’t think I’m smart enough to cook that TV dinner you got me.”
“What TV dinner?”
“The one you got me.”
So, I walked over, opened the freezer and discovered a Weight Watchers® frozen breaded chicken over penne with a tomato sauce, broccoli and an apple desert. I turned it over to read the instructions. Between peeling back cellophane, heating, removing, stirring, replacing, heating some more and testing to see if it was cooked; I decided to prepare it myself and have her reheat it when she was ready for dinner.
This started me thinking and I asked, “Mom, do you know when the TV dinner was invented?’
She said, “I don’t remember breakfast.”
“It was 1953 and the Swanson company had a huge surplus of turkeys on hand due to poor Thanksgiving sales. They packaged turkey and gravy with cornbread dressing, sweet potatoes and green peas in a sectional aluminum tray that you could slip into the oven and then eat from without dirtying pots, pans or dishes.”
To this day, I’m drawn to any meal platform that eliminates the need for washing dishes.
I am always intrigued by ingenious, innovative solutions; Momma less so.
“That’s nice. How do I reheat it for dinner?”
I explained and she said she’d never remember. So, I left the tray in the microwave, wrote step-by-step directions how to operate the microwave and left them on top, so she could find it.
I only recently discovered, according to Wikipedia, that they were originally called TV Brand Frozen Dinners. Televisions were a luxury item in those days; we didn’t get one until Christmas of ’59. And the Swanson folks thought “TV” would add prestige to the product.
Frozen, prepared meals are commonplace now, but prior to that surplus of gobblers the only place folks were likely to encounter them was on airplanes and the number of folks flying in 1953 was an equally small slice of the population.
It’s times like this I miss my dad. We shared a mutual appreciation for challenges that called for imaginative solutions. Americans seem to revel in overcoming obstacles.
- Beer was first canned in Richmond. (Probably for no other reason than they could.)
- When the country was young, settlers on the Appalachian frontier transformed their grain harvest into whiskey so that it wouldn’t spoil and to reduce transportation costs. There’s a theme here.
- The folks at 3M® found a use for a glue that wouldn’t stay stuck and created Post It® Notes.
These stories abound; so, keep an eye peeled for obstacles. They may present the opportunity of your life.
Because, remember, Necessity is the Mother of Invention.
I Want to Hear from You
Have you a story of an inventive solution?
I’d love to hear it.
Til next time,