Putting his millionaire dreams on hold

Sunday, August 12, 2007

SHE SAID: You wouldn't think the words "we could make millions!" could prompt spontaneous eye-rolling. But coming out of my husband's mouth, believe me, they can.

Every so often, which is to say, every few weeks, Bob begins a sentence with those very words. "Honey, we could make millions!"

First there was the flashlight/cell phone combo. Ultimately, this is by far one of his most logical ideas. However, as the kindly folks at the local Cingular -- oops, I mean AT&T -- store told us last time we purchased a phone, that product will be available soon.

I'm very supportive of new ideas. I have to be; I come from a family concreted in ingenuity.

Ask my mom about the pastel-colored razors she invented in college. Gillette, she swears, stole her idea right out from under her.

My little brother is renowned at the local J.C. Penney store for his creation of a wheel-based employee game (don't ask me to explain, please).

And then there's my dad.

The combination of too much time on his hands and his trusty welder have yielded some pretty amazing products. Take the black metal carts that hold plants for sale outside the grocery store in my hometown of Van Buren, Mo. Totally my dad's handy work. And the rotating sign he crafted from an old barbecue grill rotisserie for my brother's election last November. Now tell me ... would Edison have thought of THAT?

Bob, thankfully, hasn't gotten his hands on a welder yet. But I can just see the sparks flying now.

HE SAID: My cute and talented wife doesn't know what she's throwing away. I get these ideas, you see. Strokes of brilliance.

Last week, I told you that I'm the one with the common sense in the family. Truth is, I'm the one with the uncommon sense, too. After all, anyone can have common sense.

My Franklin-esque lightning stroke came one day while searching for my lost keys.

I have one of those new gadgets on my key chain that can start my car by remote (an idea, by the way, I thought long ago but never voiced). But as I was searching for my keys. My thought process was thus:

"Geez, why don't the GMC folks get together with the cell phone folks and create a cell phone car starter?"

"You know Bob, that's not bad," I told myself.

"Why thanks. And you could have your cell phone programmed by the folks at the dealership."

"You know, it wouldn't be that hard. You could make millions! Millions, I say!"

"No doubt about it."

"But you know, Bob, you can't actually put your car in gear with the remote start unless you have a key."

"Yeah, but I'm sure they could come up with some doodad, a voice-activated thingamijiggy. Fingerprint scan."

"Dude, you are so on to something."

"Millions, I say! Millions!"

"Yeah, you could buy a big house with a pool, buy Callie a shirt or two, pay for Drew to go to a great school."

"Hey man, they could use the same technology on house doors, too."

"You could afford season tickets."

"And what about the television remote? You could program that in the cell phone, too."

"And we could buy one of those refrigerators with an ice dispenser."

"You ought to do something about this idea of yours. Tell Callie. She'll know what to do."

"Yeah, and the other idea you had -- the washer-dryer stacker that releases the wet clothes into the dryer when they're done."

"Maybe with that you could buy a vacation house on a beach somewhere."

"Hello -- back to reality!"

"Callie, how did you get in my head?"

"I'm always here, honey."

"Oh."

"Did you buy the stamps yet?"

"Uh, no. I was looking for my keys ..."

Husband Bob Miller and wife Callie Clark Miller are both editors at the Southeast Missourian.

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