The twist-tie has to be the worst invention in human history. It does not save time, it does not preserve bread better than twisting the bag and tucking the remaining plastic under the loaf, and you can't re-purpose it for anything else when a loaf is done. The twist-tie may seem like a flexible, malleable option, but after three or four uses, it begins to fray, little speckles of colored material litter the countertops, and all that remains is an increasingly-useless bit of wire that Professor Farnsworth wouldn't even bother to save. If I buy a loaf of bread that has a twist-tie, I remove the twist-tie on first use and replace it with a hoarded bread clip. I save bread clips. Shut up. The bread clip is superior in every way to the twist-tie, and yet the twist-tie still holds a share of the market. How is this possible? Do people still use rotary phones? Do they still manufacture rotary phones? We have cell phones now! We have bread clips!
But that got me thinking, what other stupid inventions are still out there? What other trinkets do people use that make no sense to keep using but we're forced to continue because companies won't stop including them in purchased products? The first answer has to be that atrocious adult-proof packaging for things like knives, GPS units, and, as I found out recently after purchasing a child-proofing set to keep my damn kittens out of the cabinets, child-proof sets (apparently people want to keep murderous child-proofers with a bad sense of direction from seeing out their sinister plans). If I buy a knife, I don't want to have to use a knife to get a knife out of its packaging. You know? If I buy some child-proofing crap, I shouldn't have to violently wield a machete to get little bits of formed plastic out of their Fort Knox container. We have other kinds of packaging, packaging that works really well, that serves its ultimate purpose better than the adult-proof kind. So let's just stop making and using that other stuff. Thanks.
And what about shoelaces! Okay, I'll stop, I'll stop. On to Quick Takes.
- The St. Louis Cardinals gave away game 5 of the World Series last night, thanks to a late-inning blunder by manager Tony La Russa. With the game tight and runners on base, La Russa decided not to use his best bullpen pitcher, closer Jason Motte, he didn't even have him warming up, and instead let Mike Napoli tee off another pitcher for the game-winning two-run double. But La Russa, either covering his own ass or covering someone else's, said to the media that he'd actually made the call to get Motte warmed up to come in and lock things down against the Rangers, but that the crowd noise was so loud the bullpen apparently didn't hear him ask for Motte. Twice. From a land line. To another land-line inside an enclosed bullpen. The Cardinals must use AT&T.
- And to continue piling on La Russa, because it's really fun going after a guy who's clung to a mullet for 30 years, Allen Craig was thrown out trying to steal second base yesterday with Albert Pujols at the plate. Pujols said that he made the call for the hit-and-run that got Craig thrown out, which would be baffling if a player was making those types of calls (don't get me started on the sabermetrics behind base-stealing). Shouldn't the manager be determining whether or not to throw away an out and a potential run with one of the best hitters in baseball history at the plate?
- The NBA is set to cancel another two weeks of the regular season, which means we're two weeks closer to LeBron James in "Kazaam 2!"
- Ndamukong Suh, mentioned in yesterday's Quick Takes for having allegedly taunted an injured Matt Ryan while he squirmed in pain on the ground, fired back at the accusatory Falcons and said that Ryan's temporary injury was "karma" for all the dirty play Atlanta's offensive line was dishing out. No, what's karma is taunting an injured player, only to have him come back in the game and beat the snot out of you. But I don't expect the HOUSE OF SPEARS to be overly connected with Buddhist ideologies. Not that "beating the snot out of someone" is very Buddhist either ... god damn these electric sex pants.
- According to the Associated Press, during Sunday's loss to the Broncos, desperate Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano pleaded with officials to review a late Denver touchdown because, "If I don't call a timeout, I'm (sunk) and now I'm getting fired, OK?" he screamed at two referees while pointing toward the team owner's skybox. The referees ignored his pleas and didn't review the touchdown. And Tony Sparano went home to begin mixing concrete for what he calls, "special referee shoes."
- Oregon Ducks cornerback Cliff Harris was suspended by his team after being pulled over for, keep up with me here, driving with a suspended license, driving without insurance, and driving without a seat belt, this after being ticketed in June for driving 118 mph on I-5 with a suspended license. In response, Nike will design and manufacture $10 million robotic, self-driving cars for all Oregon Ducks players.
- Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli is now backing a fireworks safety campaign (by standing for a photo holding a poster of fireworks), days after he set fire to his bathroom by using fireworks indoors. Balotelli has tried to clear up the story, saying the newspapers got the story wrong and "a friend" was the one using fireworks in the bathroom. Balotelli said he didn't know anything until he heard the shouting, but we all know that when you reference an unnamed friend, you did it yourself. My friend has this rash. My friend got his arm stuck in a vending machine. My friend ran over a guy. It was you, Mario, just fess up.