Moist towelettes, creativity, and cavemen
Remember when going to KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) always meant grabbing extra paper napkins to clean up? From my earliest recollections of KFC, greasy hands were always a result of the finger lickin’ good meal. By the way, I still prefer the original recipe over extra crispy. And how fun was it as a kid to see the curious dual purpose plastic ware that was offered for eating both the cole slaw and mashed potatoes? I still marvel at that odd ball creation.
More than any one government group or organization, KFC is responsible for Americans getting their first exposure to the conveniently packaged, moist towelette.
The inventive nature of a greedy corporate world soon realized the moist towelette was being under marketed. The original strategy was to sell it as a cleanup aid for fast food companies to deliver with messy meals, but this wasn’t reaching enough people. A visionary observed it was the proverbial tip of the ice berg, pay the licensing fees and repackage it! In short order the Baby Wipe was born. Now this was a way to reach millions for years.
I did a patent search on the moist towelette. I never found when it was actually patented but what I did find was insightful. I found pages of patents on new ways to ‘deliver’ them. These were not the Pat. Pending variety, but real ‘granted’ patents.
Much is made of originality on this culture, merely blending in is considered boring, uneventful even. I don’t consider blending as giving up who you are. In fact, nature provides bountiful rewards for creatures that blend in. The fawn survives because it can blend, the big cat survives too because it will blend in the thicket, unseen until the rabbit to becomes complacent enough to complete the food chain.
As a musician and song writer, I came to terms with my style of writing long ago. I didn’t need to chart new territory with inventive verse-chorus structures; I found one that suits me well. Within that comfort zone I can be amazingly creative, creative enough that others wish to be like me, though I blend in easily with established methods. I see a path in which I am truly free to be combine music and words that might touch a life.
My inner caveman, Grog, is somewhat of a recluse. When Grog feels social nothing is too trivial of an event to capture his tiny imagination.
On a trip last April I found myself rerouted from Seattle to Little Rock, via Cincinnati. Traveling with Grog is a balancing act; he thinks flying is the domain of skinny winged dinosaurs and not man. On arriving in Ohio I was forced to leave the relative comfort of a large jet, for a long, thin, dual prop driven airplane to complete my journey to the deep South. This was an aircraft with singles seats on one side and two seats across the aisle. Grog wanted the single seat, he thought the walls would be suitable for some cave art, but it wasn’t to be, this wasn’t like flying with open seating.
The bumpy ride forced me to explore the outhouse style bathroom in the rear of the plane. Ugh! On entering the tiny compartment I found another reminder to plan better next time, though Grog perked up immediately, …. a sink full of moist towelettes! Some creative bean counter (who’s inner caveman must have surely died long ago) decided running water and soap was no longer necessary to the success of the organization, moist towelettes could save the maintenance budget from costly plumbing repairs.
No room to stand in this airborne water closet, so sit I did. With the sink only a short reach away, Grog began to handle it’s contents. He tore open some of the packages, stopping briefly to sniff inside. On one occasion Grog removed a moist towelette, tossed it in the air then moaned to discover they don’t stick to the ceiling. Undeterred, Grog continued his play with childlike enthusiasm.
As I was collecting myself, Grog, in his never subtle approach to life, stuffed my pockets with moist towelettes. I tried without much success to put them back, inevitably only a few made it back to the sink, leaving a number of them on the floor with footprints on them.
However annoying it may be, one has to marvel at this resourceful use of the moist towelette. I wonder if this application will find it’s way to the large jets someday.
Whether you invent a new uses for moist towelettes, or find excellence in structure, or toss things in the air…just because, creativity is never far away.
After ‘touching’ this blog, you may want to rummage around in your junk draw for that orphaned moist towelette and wash your hands now. I know that’s where Grog put his stash!
Thanks for reading this far.