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You can’t build a better mousetrap!

September 29, 2022   ·   0 Comments

by Mark Pavilons

Our technology is moving at light speed and we’re continually pushing boundaries and coming up with innovative solutions.

We’ve come so far in such a short span of time, almost exponential

And yet, in 2022, there are many contraptions, contrivances and, yes, food staples that have gone unchanged.

It’s been said that you just can’t build a better mousetrap, noting that one simple device has stood the test of time and can’t be improved.

In the case of that very mousetrap its true. If you’ve purchased one recently, the old tried and true design still reigns supreme. That small piece of wood, metal spring and tiny trigger platform has remained the same for decades. Ok, there are some fancy plastic ones but nothing beats the $1 version of this item, which first invented in 1709.

I doubt whether the cheese grater has changed much in its 200-year existence. A piece of metal with sharp, bored holes and a handle. Can’t really improve on that one. Maybe there are fancy ones and even electric ones but nothing beats the simple stainless version, that you can pick up at any dollar store.

What about zip lock bags, a belt, Velcro, tape, screw drivers, a canoe, lawn mower, axe, hammer, Swiss Army knife, electric mixer, whisk, bottle opener, cast iron skillet, muffin trays, scissors (which date to 1,500 BC)? The list goes on.

Sure, the materials and colours have been updated but the basic designs, it seems, can’t be improved. There’s a saying: if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

And that’s where I’m headed, people.

Thank goodness some things in this world have stayed the same, stood the test of time.

Thinking about them brings a smile to my brain.

Humans are foodies and we’ve turned this necessity into something marvellous. Simply consuming for nutrition is not enough. No, fellow flavour fans, our forefathers and mothers created some perfect treats for you and I. I hazard to guess that some things will live long into the future.

Who doesn’t love a simple hotdog? Sure, you can boil them (favourite), broil them or even toss them on the BBQ. But a dog on a bun with mustard, ketchup and relish is as human as it gets.

I bet if you offer a plate of them to your family right now, they’ll be gone in a flash.

Hamburgers follow, but their makeup has gone through many iterations over the years. You can use different blends of meat and spices, but basically it’s a beef patty. Plain and simple. Get one with grill marks, slap it on a bun with your favourite ingredients and you’re good to go. No culinary expertise needed here.

Cookies! These sweet treats are the downfall of many, and there are two special people in our household who can’t resist them. They’re almost like kryptonite. Doesn’t matter if their chocolate chip, oatmeal, shortbread or the venerable Oreo, they are magical. Again, some recipes are slightly different but a cookie is a cookie. Just ask a certain Sesame Street character!

Donuts are right behind and sure, they come in different blends, colours, toppings, but this simple, hole-in-the-middle treat is known the world over.

Check out some of your local bakers, it means a lot to them!

Pizza has largely remained unchanged since it was first introduced in 1889, when famous Naples pizza chef Raffaele Esposito made three pizzas for Umberto I King of Italy and his wife Queen Margherita di Savoia.

“Margherita” pizza has become an Italian mainstay ever since. Sure, you can find a multitude of North American variations, crusts and toppings galore. But nothing satisfies like a slice of pie. I can almost smell it right now.

Also, if you’ve ever made it at home with the family, it’s an experience second to none.

There are several great pizza places in the community, and I encourage you to try them all. You won’t be disappointed.

Ham and cheese, pastrami on rye, club or Reuben, a sandwich is among humankind’s best inventions. While many attribute the snack’s invention to the Earl of Sandwich in the 1700s, it has been around a lot longer.

Without any previous knowledge, any person big or small can create a masterpiece to his or her own liking. All the ingredients are almost always available in any kitchen. Who hasn’t grabbed the last piece in the loaf – always the end – put butter and cheese on it, folded it half and ate it happily?

Don’t even get me started on grilled cheese, likely the most mouth-watering, heart-warming, home-cooked treat ever. Who remembers being treated to one by mom or grandma? You’re going to make one now, aren’t you?

Now that our bellies are full and satisfied, there are many, many things in our world that just are. They can’t be altered, switched, replaced or substituted.

Sunshine, waves crashing on the beach, a gentle breeze any time of year top my list. For some of us Boomers, a fresh cup of java, an outboard motor, smell of gasoline and sound of a muscle car are other tried and true pleasantries. They remind us of who we are and where we came from. They remind us of great times.

Hats off to all engineers, designers, architects, chefs and yes, moms and grandmas. They all set the bar very high and encouraged all generations that followed to aim high.

We may not be able to build a better mousetrap, but hey, some things don’t need improving.

And to those who are constantly looking at ways to make things better and more efficient, go for it!

From head to toe, our fellow humans got us covered!



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