Life hacks for the kids

In previous columns in this space, I have offered various suggestions of ways to improve life for those who roam the earth on two legs, especially those of us who do so burdened by creeping senescence.

The recent holidays provided an opportunity to put my brain in idle mode, where it often does its best work. Accordingly, I herewith advance a new round of life-enhancing hacks for the current crop of 14-year-old brainiacs to consider developing.

How about a cash register that automatically adds $10 to the bill if a customer takes more than 45 seconds to produce a debit or credit card once their purchases are scanned?

Or, maybe one that voids a debit or credit card if the owner tries to sneak more than the specified number of items through the express lane?

How about parking meters that issue cash refunds or credit vouchers if you vacate the spot before your time has expired?

Let’s have telephones that emit mega-squeals when an auto-parts clerk thinks an anonymous person phoning in is more important than the one who has been waiting 20 minutes for counter service.

Why not a scanning device that activates a chemical in every can or box of dog food at point of purchase – coupled with a feces-reader that makes it possible to identify dog owners who fail to scoop their pet’s poop?

Here’s a simple one: a mandatory breath-analyzer that prevents an airline pilot from coming within 1,000 metres of a plane for 24 hours after said pilot’s last alcoholic beverage.

I’d like to see an algorithm that prevents any online recipe whose list of ingredients includes kale or tofu from showing up on my computer.

How about a face-recognition app that blocks any picture of a cat from my Facebook feed? I don’t necessarily want to unfriend anybody; I’m just not a devoted fan of their feline menagerie.

Along the same lines, it should be mandatory for Facebook’s privacy policy to include optional settings to screen out any, or all, of the following:

  • mouth-watering photos of meals from restaurants you will never be able to afford;
  • vacation photos from tropical locales if the outside temperature in your current location is below -5ºC;
  • articles offering a foolproof anything, especially the promise of large sums of money with little or no effort;
  • any video or gif featuring someone who does not respect the implications of gravity, rapid deceleration, or the combustibility of inflammable materials;
  • any feature that includes the words “celebrity”, “red carpet” or “Kanye”;
  • news articles about any politician whose surname consists of only five letters.

Get onto it, kids. There are fortunes to be made.

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