RHYS BOWEN: I don't know about you but I'm a big fan of Shark Tank. I often marvel at the clever but simple things that the inventors come up with and I find myself wondering "Why didn't I think of that?" The one that sticks in my mind is the sandals that are just a base with different snap-on tops. You can go from beach to ballroom with one pair of shoes. Brilliant. (Of course some of those inventions are distinctly weird). But I have to confess that occasionally I come up with a Shark Tank-worthy idea and think "I wish someone would make this because I need it right now. "
My pet peeve has to do with showers and towels. The shower head is up in the air ,above my head, making the washing of lower parts annoying. How to you wash between your toes in a shower and keep your hair dry? Inquiring minds want to know.
If I had time and energy, I'd take it to the Shark Tank.
I'd also like a pair of stunning, Hank-style shoes that don't hurt my toes.
So how about you, Reds? Do you have a particular invention you wish someone would design and make right now?
HALLIE EPHRON: Oh, now you started me thinking about shower heads... I once stayed in an inn with a shower that I'm sure was a converted closet. Narrow. And the shower spewed water over my head so I had to jump up and down in it to get wet.
And I'd like someone to invent a new pair of feet for me so I can wear Hank-style shoes.
LUCY BURDETTE: I have just recently visited my brother and his wife and they are the proud owners of a new hot tub. They spent a lot of time picking it out. Apparently you can't choose by just sitting in the tub at the showroom, you have to get in the tub filled with water and test the various jets to make sure they hit your back and neck exactly right. We ought to be able to do that with a shower too, right? Rhys, I do admire your idea of the blow dryer in the shower--kind of like a car wash.
How about a device that handles all upgrades without you having to know anything about them? I still don't know how to get music on my phone and then play it in the car...
RHYS: I'm challenged in that department too, Lucy. But I have grandkids. They know everything.
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Rhys, I have no idea what Shark Tank is! Now will have to check it out! As for inventions, I wish someone would come up with something that would blow-dry my hair for me. My hair isn't that long, so it's amazing how much I hate that five-minute chore. Not enough to reminisce about the days of curlers and hood dryers (before my time!) and not enough to forgo the drying... I have hair that's too straight to be curly and too wavy to be straight...
And I really wish someone would come up with a robo vacuum that really worked. We tried a Roomba when they first came out. Conclusion: A great idea if you have a big, empty room with no furniture, no electrical cords, and no PETS.
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Really good spellchecking. I simply cannot type accurately, and if I left all the errors in this, you'd never be able to read it. But bad spellchecking is worse than no spellchecking, we all have examples of that.
Personally? A way to keep iphones and etc charged without plugging them in all the time. My first moment in a hotel room, I have to look for plugs. (Well, my first first moment, I wonder if my room key will become de-magnetized between the time I get it and the time I arrive at my room. So I wish they'd invent a room key that's reliable.) Then--I try to figure out the shower. Shower head is one hurdle. Also..which way is HOT?
RHYS: And why does every shower turn on and adjust differently? There is nothing worse at the end of a long, stressful day to be hit on the head with a blast of cold water!
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: My "why can't they do this" has to do with standards, not inventions. Why can't we have universal standard controls for devices that everyone has in their homes? I know how to use my microwave perfectly well. Why, when I'm defrosting frozen dog food at my neighbors' (small homemade organic dinners, for those of you wondering) do I have to stand there puzzling out how to get medium heat for one-point-five minutes?
Why is it when I visit my sister I can't even figure out how to turn her entertainment system on, let alone stream Netflix?
As near as I can tell, every single microwave oven manufacturer in the world uses its own proprietary system of buttons and controls. Ditto for TV/DVR/DVD/BluRay players, which compound the problem by requiring you to have five different remotes just to watch a damn rerun of GET SMART
RHYS: We all agree, Julia. Standards. Conformity between devices. And a decent shower. But how about you out there? What would you invent to make our world an easier place?