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From cargo shorts to the remote control

By Joe Centers • Jul 30, 2019 at 12:00 PM

I was putting on my cargo shorts the other day and found $12 in the pocket.

That was $12 I didn’t know I had, which is a good thing. Usually when I find money in my pocket it’s a buck or two.

I think, for that reason, cargo shorts are one of the greatest inventions for men in a long time.

You can carry almost anything in your cargo shorts, from a bottle of Diet Coke to your phone to your sun glasses to your sun tan lotion. The best part is you can sit down with all of that stuff in your cargo pockets without breaking or losing anything.

So what’s the big deal about $12? With “Baker, Baker the touchdown maker” in town and the Cleveland Browns season right around the corner, $12 can get you a 16-ounce Bud Light at FirstEnergy Stadium with a couple of bucks to spare for the tip.

It got me thinking about some of the other great inventions that every man appreciates:

Microwave oven — What could be better than heating up your food in just seconds or minutes? This really replaced one of the very first great inventions for men — the T.V. dinner. Remember those four-course dinners with chicken or beef, mashed potatoes, corn and some crappy desert?  You would heat it up and then eat it in front of — you guessed it — another great invention for men, the television.

Transistor radio — Any man my age can remember taking your transistor radio to bed and listening to the ballgame. I lived in the Detroit area, so many nights I went to sleep listening to Ernie Harwell and the Tigers in action. I still have a transistor and listen to it when I am working outside.

Gas grill — I will never spend time fighting with charcoal again. Turn a knob, light the fire and you are good to go. Even in the winter you can grill up a steak or two without much work involved.

Cable T.V. — I remember when I came to Norwalk in 1979 a phone call to Monroeville was still long distance and there was no cable. That first summer cable was introduced to the area and with it came ESPN and “Sports Center.” That introduced everybody to 24 hours of endless sports from lumberjacking to skateboarding. “Sports Center” opened us all up to endless game highlights. ESPN put a lot of the new wave sports in the limelight.

Uber — We spend our fair share of time in Chicago and have taken a number of Uber rides. No longer do you have to stand on the side of the road and try to flag down a taxi. You just get on you Uber app, plug in your location and destination and the car comes right to you. No money is exchanged — it all is done through the app. And with Uber comes Uber Eats or DoorDash. No longer do you have to walk to McDonald’s or any other restaurant to get your food. You go onto your app, order your food, a driver is contacted and will pick it up then deliver it to you.

Domino’s — We all know Uber Eats and DoorDash are just an offshoot of Domino’s, which made home-delivery of fast-food famous everywhere. I remember when Domino’s started and what made it famous was its motto of 30 minutes or less. Fast and hot pizza. All of a sudden somebody was going to bring fast-food right to your door. The problem with Domino’s was too many of its drivers were getting into accidents trying to beat that 30-minute mark. So the company dropped that and now just promises to get it to you, still, fast and hot.

Remote control — I saved the best for last. How did we ever survive without it? The only problem is not losing it. The answer? Keep the remote control in your cargo shorts.

I know I missed some. Shoot me an email and let me know your favorites. 

Joe Centers is Reflector managing editor. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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