Things That Are Like Other Things

This Christmas, Ken put something amazing in my stocking. We’ve always given each other stockings full of socks, chocolate, wine, and other small cool stuff, and this year I was excited to receive a pen. That might sound less cool than I’ve made it out to be, but wait! It’s not just a pen—it’s also a screwdriver, a level, and a ruler. It is, in fact, a “4-In-1 Pen Tool”, and if that isn’t the best thing that is like another thing, I don’t know what is. Now, no matter where I go, I can measure something, check if it’s level, repair it, or write down an interesting fact about it. Because multi-tasking is an art, and things that are like other things are a multi-tasker’s best friend.


For example, if you’ve been here before, you know that I LOVE gummy vitamins. They’re multi-coloured, taste just like gummy bears, and are the best of both worlds. The first thing I get to do when I get up in the morning, even BEFORE I eat my yogurt, is have some candy. And it was recommended by my doctor! I NEVER used to take vitamins before, on the grounds that they tasted bad (except for Vitamin C tablets, which taste like oranges, or just like the baby aspirin they had when I was a kid. I used to sneak baby aspirin every so often because they were so delicious–I could fall off my bike and bleed half to death because my blood was so thin, but it didn’t hurt at all), and I didn’t really care about thiamine or niacin or dioxin or whatever. But now, I take vitamins every day because it’s fun AND healthy.

And that got me thinking about a) things that are like other things that make me happy, and b) things that SHOULD be like other things. So here is my list:

1) My newest favourite thing which is like another thing is ‘Pants That Are Pajamas’. Now that I’ve been working from home for almost a year, I have several pairs of these. Some people call them ‘Yoga Pants’ but I don’t do yoga, unless you count a vigorous stretch to grab a wine glass from the cupboard. ‘Pants That Are Pajamas’ allow me to easily transition from Business Casual to Nightwear with very little effort at all.

2) If you’ve ever flown, you know that your seat cushion turns into a flotation device. Which begs the question (which I think I heard first from Jerry Seinfeld) ‘why doesn’t the plane just turn into a cruise ship if it lands in the water?’ I know this is totally possible, because my next favourite thing which is like another thing is a bus that turns into a boat. We went on a bus tour in Ottawa a few years ago, and after we’d driven around for a while looking at the Parliament buildings and whatnot, the driver suddenly announced that we would also be cruising the harbour. Then we drove down a ramp, STRAIGHT INTO THE RIVER. I was totally freaking, but Ken was like, “Don’t worry–the wheels turn into propellers and there’s a ring underneath that inflates.” I responded very calmly with “Liar! We’re going to drown!” and Ken said, “They ADVERTISED this. Why are you acting all surprised? Don’t you remember?”, but I reminded HIM that first, I thought they meant we would get OFF the bus and get ON a boat, and second, I may or may not have been enjoying a very nice Sauvignon Blanc the previous evening when he pulled out the brochure and was waving it around, saying, “Ooh, this will be fun.” But you know what? Once I got used to the idea that my bus was now a boat, and the bus driver was now a sea captain and I could refer to him as ‘Skipper’, I really enjoyed the whole experience. Kate, of course, remained calm throughout the entire tour. Or maybe she was bored. Mainly because the tour consisted of just looking at buildings. But still, the Bus-Boat was very cool.

3) Canes that become swords. Okay, technically, they don’t BECOME swords, they just have swords in them. It would be awesome to be hobbling around, all decrepit-like, then suddenly whip out that sword like a superspy ninja when the need arose. I also love canes that double as flasks for alcohol, because who DOESN’T want to crack that bad boy open when no one’s looking? It would have made my Bus-Boat trip a hell of a lot more interesting once we were on the water, that’s for sure.

4) Sporks. This is two handy things in one–a spoon and a fork. Take it one step further by sharpening the plastic edge, and you have a sporfe: a spoon, fork, and knife all in one, which I just invented. Actually, this might have already been invented, most likely by a prisoner, who stole a spoon from the canteen and turned it into a weapon to shank his cellmate with first, then ate the guy’s pie and ice cream after. Wow, that got dark kind of quick for a fun plastic utensil.

5) Closed Captioning. This allows you to watch TV and read at the same time, so all those people who think reading is a more intellectual pursuit than Netflix can get stuffed.

Okay, so I’ve listed some things that are already other things, so here are some ideas about things that I WISH were other things:

1) Protein shakes that taste like Bailey’s Irish Cream. Wait, does Bailey’s have any protein in it? If so, we could just cut out the middle man, drink the Bailey’s, and then go work out. Many years ago, I had a recumbent cycle, and I used to pour a big glass of wine, turn on the TV, and cycle for a few kilometres. It was hardly like exercising AT ALL, and I broke even on the calories.

2) A bookshelf that is a door. I’ve been bugging Ken about this for a while now, trying to get him to think of a place in our house where we could put a bookshelf that is, in reality, the door to a secret room. There are a couple of spots where we could do it, but Ken thinks it would be really complicated to build. What a baby. I mean, I’m no engineer, but I do have a 4-In-1 pen, and I think it’s definitely possible.

3) A pen with a Tide White Stick on the other end. This is great for people like me, who are fairly clumsy and wave pens around for emphasis, inevitably getting ink on their clothes. But see, with my invention, all you’d have to do is flip the thing around, erase that blob, and you’re good to go. Combine it with the 4-In-1 Pen and you wouldn’t be able to keep them on store shelves—they’d be snapped up faster than toilet paper in a pandemic.

Ultimately, I am the QUEEN of multi-tasking. Whether it’s eating, drinking, working out, or just relaxing, I’ve got a pen for that.

53 thoughts on “Things That Are Like Other Things

  1. When future archeologists try to piece together the mindset of 21st century humanity, they will undoubtedly spend countless hours trying to figure out the religious and sociopolitical implications of the spork. Or if things go well…the sporfe.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I doubt a vitamin, or anything “good for your health,” can possibly taste any better than Flintstones vitamins… or at least what they were like when I was a kid in the 80’s. I snuck those things like you wouldn’t believe… which I’m sure pissed my Mom off because they were expensive and we were poor. I should be strong enough to take on a dinosaur after all those extra vitamins I ingested, but apparently you can only get so much riboflavin and Vitamin Z before your body just shrugs its shoulders and flushes it all out…

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I think all of your future inventions are brilliant Suzanne! Especially the bookshelf that’s a door, although I think that one had already been invented. But I’m talking about in your house. Its totes possible, Ken is being a difficult if you ask me, lol. I’m sure Atlas would love a bookshelf door too, you and he would have so much fun I think 😎

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That pen is so cool and I want one even though I would have no use for anything except the pen part. Or maybe the level. I could ask people “Are you on the level?” And then check. Or have a bunch and say something is “wrong on so many levels” then prove it. I also once saw a pen that had a tiny flashlight in the writing bit so you could write notes in the dark. I want one of those too. It annoys me that most “penlights” are just miniature flashlights with no pen.
    Anyway Bailey’s does have protein in it because it’s got cream. You’d have to drink a lot to really get the benefit of the protein, though, and I’m not seeing a downside here.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I used to have a pen that was also a magnifying glass and a lighter. It had my name on the side in gold and was a gift from an uncle. The pen mysteriously disappeared within a day or two. I suspect Mom worried about it, but I also think friends coveted it.

    This were doing my “Man from Uncle” spy days. The pen fit in well, as I had a transistor radio, that, in my imagination, was also a scanner that could look for life forms, a communicator so I could talk to my team remotely, and a radar system that warned me about incoming missiles. In addition to those capabilities, this little Japanese product could make me invisible, protect me from being shot, and teleport me.

    Alas, while using it on my bike once, I dropped it and a truck victimized it. I later realized another couldn’t be made because it had been sent from the future. We just weren’t making radios like that yet.


    Liked by 2 people

  6. It’s not in quite the same category, but I’ve been waiting for years for the invention of the Clorox Clean Bomb. It’s basically an explosive housecleaning device that you set down in the center of the room, activate, and then shut the door behind you on your way out. BOOM! The Clorox Clean Bomb detonates, and when you reenter a minute later, the room is scrubbed and polished from baseboards to crown molding! Seems like such a no-brainer…

    Liked by 4 people

  7. So funny. I’d love to read your travelogue, Suzanne. And your 4 in 1 pen sounds perfect for a handy gal like yerself. I wonder why the Swiss Army Knife never included a writing utensil. An oversight for certain. The pants/pajamas double duty is definitely a thing. In fact, with the pandemic, it’s hardly necessary to change clothes at all. I wear my pajamas all day. Great post. Thanks for the laughs.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The humble spork is probably the greatest invention here . . . some may disagree, but think about it when you’re faced with your next cupboard full of Capbell’s Chunky. “The soup that eats like a meal.” I mean, spoon or fork? Mind blown!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Nifty stocking gift😃. Secret door is a must have feature. The first time I saw a spork, I was confused. Leave it at that. I have been toying with the idea of buying a taclight pen. It’s one of those multitasking devices. It has a flashlight with zoom function; Emergency escape tool; Built-in multi-tool for quick fixes; Military tough design – works even in the most bitter cold and extreme heat; And it’s actually a working pen…
    Oh, it has a safety strobe light to disorient attackers. It clips to a pocket. What more can a person ask for in life? Hmmm let’s think about that….

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Yes for closed captioning! Guilt-free TV. Plus an extra bonus, if I watch a foreign language movie with (obviously) English subtitles, it’s like I’m reading AND learning a new language all at once.
    For Christmas I was given an Oodie, it’s a blanket that’s also an oversized hoodie and it might just be the best thing I’ve ever owned.


  11. What DID we do before pants that are like pajamas? I mean, really. We suffered silently and didn’t even know we were suffering:) And closed captioning allowed me to understand and enjoy Derry Girls for the first few episodes, until I got used the accents . . . and Derry Girls has kept me sane during pandemic! Thanks for the fun this morning . . .

    Liked by 2 people

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