Is it a bird, Is it a plane. More importantly does it keep out the rain?
Coats - Can't really be improved can they? A few fashion changes, an odd button, pocket, colour or length perhaps. Even an exotic material. They have all been tried before yet our concept of a coat is still basically unchanged.
I have two ideas that may be of interest to the coat suppliers of the world and one is so staggeringly simple I'll wager that within five years half of all coats will feature it.
And this fantastic idea is presented here, published on the web, ready and waiting for it's first commercial customer to sweep it up and make the supplier and I rich beyond our wildest dreams.
Well perhaps not that rich, but only because of my fertile imagination. I'm not the sort who upon winning the lottery would suggest I buy my dream car then announce that it's a Ford Orion.
But I am going off at a tangent here and in danger of everyone thinking that I'm talking about a coat of paint. Which I'm not.
However, before we get to the staggeringly simple idea, how about another simple idea, perhaps just not so staggeringly so.
The idea came to light whilst on one of my unbelievably long commutes in the company of South West Trains.
A passenger nearby, carried out his daily routine of extracting a felt-covered neoprene collar and inflating it to support his head during the next hour and a half's sleep.
Instead of doing the same myself - that is going to sleep, not inflating a personal rubber ring - I started thinking that although he looked like a complete pimple he also looked very comfortable.
All I needed was to merge the idea of the inflatable collar with something less conspicuous.
It was obvious - my coat should feature the inflatable device.
That way I could discreetly give it a blow job [as it were] and rest in peace. Then on awakening from my slumber I could discreetly exhale the air and carry on with my day, fully refreshed.
There are a few drawbacks, such as the potential for leaks when some careless mutton pins a badge on your lapel when you visit the local convention, or the potential for farty sounds emerging when deflating your ring piece [as it were]
But on the whole it would be a good accessory for long distance commuters.
Another added bonus would be the potential to develop the idea into quickly inflated airbags for accident-prone pedestrians. Perhaps this aspect could be developed for motorcycle jackets, for accidents, not for resting on the motorway!
Further developments on the inflatable collar idea could be other parts of clothing with inflatable inserts.
A coat with additional comfort at the elbows perhaps, or a pair of trousers with a bum inflator for comfort. Although, if you are thinking of developing a patent on that one with me I think we ought to check out J-Lo first. She may already be on to it.
Sucker For Development
So, onto my main pièce de résistance in the redesign of the coat and as promised it is a simple idea.
As usual the idea sprang to mind when I encountered a problem and this one was where to put my jacket at the office I was working in at the time.
The usual places didn't suit the suit. The coat stand was overused and far to near the door for my liking and the back of my chair was too low to prevent the corners of a hung jacket dragging on the ground.
I wanted to hang it on the side of the cabinet but the office hadn't thought of providing a handy hook. Naturally, I went out and purchased, at great personal expense, a small plastic stick-on, white hook with peelable double sided tape.
Whilst waiting for the opportunity to purchase said item during that lunch-time I mused that it would be handy if the hook was already there in my jacket.
Thus came about the idea of a built in hanger and what could be simpler and cheaper than a built in rubber sucker.
So that's it. There's the killer device.
A simple inbuilt suction pad installed behind the collar in every coat.
It's O.K., no need for applause.
So who will help develop the supercoat?
With a built in inflatable collar and rubber suction pad.
Coats - evolutionally speaking just starting don't you think?
Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.098 13 Apr 2018
First Published: Version 2.01 in Jul 2005
Inevitable note due to the passage of time: Unfortunately my second idea did not get developed in the first five years, or maybe not at all. Yet. So I was wrong. Sorry. I apologise, unreservedly. You can have my resignation letter from the internet by next Wednesday. But wait. Idea one, the inflation of clothing to protect motorcyclists is with us today. Someone ran with it and that's not easy in an inflated jacket. However both motorbike air bags and my idea are well pre-dated by inflatable personal buoyancy devices [life jackets to you and me] which were first developed in 1900 by French electrical engineer, Gustave Trouvé. Later on, 1928 in fact, or about half past seven at night, the idea was developed into the 'Mae West' life jacket. This fact led me on to checking Wikipedia to see when inflatable dolls were first invented but there is no record, plus I don't think carrying one of these on the train to take a nap on would be very convenient. Or socially acceptable