Prompt 306-Useless Invention

What one invention do you find completely useless and why?

Bullets whizzed by Guy’s head and ricocheted off the wall as he rounded the corner in the stairwell. He groaned at the new tears in his suit where they grazed him. He wanted to fire back but his own gun had been lost in the initial scuffle. It was biometrically linked to him though, so he took solace in the knowledge that his enemies couldn’t shoot him with his own gun.

At least that had worked like it was supposed to. Unfortunately, his super awesome stealth suit had not been up to quality. The cloaking feature was supposed to endure for the whole mission but it fizzled out while Guy was making his way through a room full of mobsters and loan sharks and all their shady associates. The surprise on their faces when he materialized next to the piano would have been comical if he hadn’t been certain they were all reflections of his own face.

Useless. He wasn’t personally used to such shoddy work from the R&D geniuses who worked for the Super Professional Intelligence Expansion Society, though he had heard horror stories. Another hail of bullets followed him around another corner and he ducked and rolled to the next landing. If he survived this, he was going to file a complaint.

Notes: Yeah I didn’t really have anything for this prompt but I didn’t want to wax philosophic for another whole post. I couldn’t think of anything that is actually useless so I thought “what if something doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to and the user laments that it’s totally useless?” So you got a silly little Bond-esque flash piece. “S.P.I.E.S.” I am very clever.

But seriously, the longer I spent thinking about this prompt the more it irritated me. All inventions serve a purpose at some point or another. I suppose a case could be made for inventions that never succeeded in fulfilling their purpose but even then they served as examples of how not to do the thing the inventor was trying to do.

I realize I’m also taking this very literally. There’s a difference between “useless” and ”unnecessary” after all, and while every invention has its use, that doesn’t mean it needed to be invented in the first place. Lookin at you, Twitter. And also, just because something isn’t useful to me, it doesn’t mean it isn’t useful to someone else. Lookin at you, weird As Seen on TV products.

I would be lying if I said this prompt didn’t spark at least a few ideas though, frustrating as it was. I was tempted to go a Mr. Weasley route and explore the function of a rubber duck. Had a thought about writing an archaeologist or anthropologist categorizing and explaining some obscure historical artifact they found (like a rubber duck). I also had a thought about aliens trying to make sense of the weird things humans owned (yes, a rubber duck).

“Why are you so obsessed with rubber ducks, Sara?”

I don’t know, reader, why do they exist? What do they want? Why do they gather in neat little battalions and march on mankind?! There are so many rubber ducks. We cannot hope to defeat them all.

Welp, that’s all I got for this Monday night! Have a great rest of your evening! See you tomorrow!

PS-Like these prompts? Like the short stories I write based on these prompts? Want to show your support? Give the blog a follow! Leave a comment! Buy me a coffee! I put a lot of time and effort into these posts and your support means the world to me! Ok, now go out there and write!

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