After the Windows 8 incident I suddenly started noticing all the other ways technology has improved in ways we don’t even realize. They’re coming up with creative new ways to do things we didn’t realize needed to be change. Such as ice trays.
Remember these? These are what I had in my freezer my whole life. (Except when we had automatic ice makers, which is a completely different story.) They’re made of plastic. Hard plastic. To get the ice out you have to twist them into an S. We had some flexible ones, but after a few twists they would start breaking, which made for pretty poor ice trays. So eventually my mom found some old ones at a garage sale made of much stiffer stuff. We cheered for backwards progress; no more cracks! But… you can’t twist them. At all. And therefore the ice doesn’t come out. Oh well…
One day, a few months ago, I opened the freezer door and found this beautiful thing waiting for me.
Now, I knew they’d been making ice trays entirely out of silicone rubber, but they weren’t much better than the plastic ones. Their problem was that they were too flexible; the ice just bent around with them and never came out. And they came in fancy shapes that sort of clung to small nooks and crannies and couldn’t be pried out. I ignored those ice trays and stuck to the old fashioned ones. But this new toy…
It’s made out of hard plastic, like a proper ice tray should be. Nice and stiff to hold the ice cubes in ice cube shapes. But in the bottom, just the bottom, it’s soft, pliable, silicone rubber. Just right for sticking in a finger and popping out a single cube. Or two, or three; the exact number you need instead of the entire tray. And it comes out nicely, without any fuss or banging.
I’m still marvelling. It never occurred to me that there was a better way to make ice cube trays! They’re just a part of life, like death and taxes. But there it was before me; one of the marvels of modern technology.
Yeah, I’m serious. Remember these things? How they slurp all over and get on your fingers, no matter how careful you are. How there’s never hardly any ketchup in them, so you have to ask the drive-through lady for like, twenty, and then there are leftovers rattling around the car forever, and you have so many empty packets by the time you’re done with your fries that you can make a card house–if you can get them open, that is. I mean, who doesn’t hate these?
And then I was in Chik-fil-A and they had something different. Something new, and shiny, fancy, creative, and completely innovative. No more mess, no more fuss, no more impossible to open packets that suddenly break and squirt ketchup where it’s not meant to go.
Who came up with these? Who was looking at the lame foil ketchup packets in McDonald’s and thought “there’s a better way to do this”? Whoever they are; good for them. I hope they’re now rich beyond their wildest dreams. They deserve a prize for improving our day-to-day lives without us even having to ask for it.
And a bonus entry before I go: I was standing in the checkout lane of Publix and they had SD cards and USB flashdrives right there next to the batteries and the lighters. The future is here.