Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Next Big Thing

     Deb returned from her morning run to find Jack sitting at the dining room table. Several tools and electronic parts were spread before him, and he appeared to be jabbing something with a screwdriver.
     “What are you working on, dear?” Deb asked as she walked to the kitchen for a glass of water.
     “I’m going to make us rich,” he said, not looking up from his work.
     Deb returned with her water and stood above him. “And how are you going to do that?”
     “With the next big thing.” Jack set down his tools and looked up at her. “Do you remember how my last few investments didn’t pay off?”
     She nodded. “You mean like your idea for an 8-track player that connects to an iPod? Or your rotary cell phone?”
     “Well this time it’s different,” he said. “This time, instead of trying to appeal to a sense of nostalgia, I’m looking ahead of the curve and anticipating the next trend in technology.”
     “I see.” Deb wiped her still-sweaty brow with her arm. “And what would that be?”
     “Okay, so you know how movies have evolved from analog VHS tapes to digital DVDs, and now they’re becoming information downloads through the internet? Well, I’ve put a lot of thought into it and I’ve determined the next phase will be a download right into your brain. You see, someday people will have Wi-Fi receivers implanted into their bodies so they can just tune into whatever signal is out there and view their favorite shows in their head.”
     “Right.” Deb nodded. “And you’re going to… invent this?”
     A wide grin spread across Jack’s face. “I’m not only going to invent it, I’m going to beat Microsoft and Apple to the punch. When they finally realize the potential of what I’ve done, I’ll sell my patent to them for millions.”
     Deb leaned over his shoulder to get a better look at his handiwork. “Um, honey… are you sure you know what you're doing? I mean, you don’t really have any experience with computers, and it looks like you just took apart your laptop and combined random pieces with carpenter screws and duct tape.”
     Jack sighed. “I had a feeling you would be skeptical, but that’s okay because I’m about to show you what I'm capable of doing. Here, just plug this into the wall.”
     He handed her the end of an extension cord that was attached to the hunk of metal he created. He then stuck the hunk of metal in his mouth and waited.
     Deb’s eyes moved from Jack to the extension cord to the wall socket. Then she drank her glass of water in one big gulp.
     “I’ll be happy to help you, dear,” she said, “but let me refill my glass first. I’m feeling very dehydrated after my run.”
     She set down the plug and casually walked back to the kitchen. As soon as she was out of sight, she sprinted at top speed out the back door and around the side of the house to the garage. She learned from the time he tried to invent a bathtub toaster that she had to turn off the circuit breakers as quickly as possible.