Monday, July 17, 2023

Summer of Invention #1: Dead Dog Calcium Pill Reminder

 Welcome to the Summer of Invention, a creative interlude I have peremptorily declared, which kicked off about two weeks ago and is proceeding apace. The rules are simple: 1) Identify a problem, 2) invent a creative solution—the wackier the better. 

Below we have a prime example, focusing on the problem of remembering to take daily calcium pills. Every strategy I have tried in the past, including placing the pill bottle front and center on the table where I always sit, has utterly failed. I also have a deep aversion to tainting my aesthetic landscape with ugly plastic commercial products and labeling. The solution? Using inspiration drawn from the Days of the Dead celebrations which incorporate a playful use of bones, I came up with two strategies. 

Solution One

The first is a Days-of-the-Dead-style papier-mâché dog, which seems like the perfect reminder to take care of my bones while adding rather than detracting from my environment. We begin with a plastic bottle, destined to meet a fate far more exciting than the recycling bin.

Step 1: Pick a plastic bottle

Step 2: Rough shape the dog using paper towels and tape

Step 3: Start building layers of papier-mâché 

Voila! A pill bottle.

Note the bottle-cap butt feature

Solution Two

The second invention, far simpler to pull off, occurred to me while up to my elbows in flour paste working on solution one. This approach simply required recycling an old, smaller pill bottle. After measuring the bottle to figure out an accurate label size, I harvested a couple of images from the internet, resized them on my computer, printed them out, and glued them on. 

Original, ugly, bargain-size bottle

Front label on recycled, smaller bottle

Back label


And there you have it. Summer has just begun and more inventions are already in the pipeline. Stay tuned.

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