This was one of those Washington Post Style Invitational things…some of 'em are pretty funny.
Results from Week 523, in which we asked you to propose ways to make modern life harder than it needs to be.
It is no longer sufficient to clean up after your dog. By law, you must catch the offending substance before it hits the ground. (Andrea Kelly, Brookeville)
Replace the computer mouse with two Etch-a-Sketch knobs. (Jim Risner, Greenbelt)
Eliminate surnames, as in the old days. (Danny the Elder, son of Joseph of Great Neck)
Drive-on-the-left-side-of-the-road Thursday. (Russell Beland, Springfield)
Supermarkets arrange goods alphabetically: Lettuce, lamb and Lysol are now contiguous. (William Spencer, Exeter, N.H.)
Convert stoplights to stopspeakers. (Mark Hagenau, Derry, N.H.)
Introduce "17-29 Items" lanes at the supermarket. (Tom Kreitzberg, Silver Spring)
ATMs require a urine specimen. (Judith Cottrill, New York)
Standardize the size and shape of all keys, so the only difference between them is the variation in the teeth. Also, make key rings and key chains illegal. (Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)
Replace friendly, knowledgeable humans with an automated voice that prompts callers to ceaselessly punch buttons until they no longer remember why they called or even have the will to live. Oh, wait… (Marie Harris, Elkridge)
Adapt to all appliances the "Are you sure?" message that computers demand before deleting something. Microwave a burrito: "Are you sure?" Change the channel: "Are you sure?" (Will Cramer and Julie Thomas, Herndon)
All pills must be suppositories. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)
"Lather. Rinse. Calculate the cube root of the number on the bottle's bar code. Repeat." (Michael Denyszyn, New York)
Bicycle-pedaled flush toilets. (Dan Steinberg, Falls Church)
Sell tires only in multiples of seven. (Joel E. Baker, Monterey, Calif.)
Mandatory fee of a nickel if you hum or whistle a copyrighted song. (Joel E. Baker, Monterey, Calif.)
Phone book arranged in alphabetical order—by first name. (Stephen Dudzik, Olney)
Adopt California recall rules for all government positions. If you get 500 signatures and a filing fee, you can recall your postman. (Kevin d'Eustachio, Linwood, N.J.)
More buttons on the TV remote. (Russell Beland, Springfield)
HOV use now requires three humans, a dog and a family of chickens. (C. Amor Kramer, Honolulu)
Subdivide time zones into 60 parts, observing local time to the minute.