How I’ll Make My Millions

Just this weekend I read about some baseball player signing a 10-year, $250 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels.  Two hundred fifty.  Million!  You do realize the man hasn’t cured cancer or solved world hunger or saved children from burning buildings… he’s playing a game!  It’s pretty ridiculous.  To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, “the weirdest part about professional athletes is that on one hand they’re millionaires…but, on the other, whenever someone blows a whistle they have to run around and chase a ball”.

Exactly how much is $250,000,000 in practical terms?  Well, just take out your million dollars.  Now imagine you’ve got 250 of them.  See?  It’s an awful lot of money.

I don’t personally have a million dollars (yet) but I do have a plan.

This weekend my wife and I were looking at the newest models of deluxe pre-lit Christmas trees (she must’ve read my blog entry from yesterday) when it occurred to me that they’re all manufactured the exact same way.  Each and every model, made by an assortment of manufacturers, sold at a wide variety of different prices, all fold up like an umbrella.  Why?!  Why don’t any of these trees have removable branches?  Our main artificial tree – not the aforementioned “Charlie Brown Tree” – is a brilliantly simple design consisting of a center pole and color coded branches.  I can see no reason why we can’t do this with pre-lit trees.

“But what about all the wires?”, you say.

Before I reveal my inventive solution I must declare: you read it here first.  Once I have revealed my freakishly clever plan none of you are allowed to take it as your own.  Okay? Okay.

Imagine, if you will, a single transformer that is attached to a series of USB-style wires at base of the center pole.  This myriad of wires then runs the length of this trunk making stops at each branch hole (or socket).  The further we go up the shaft the smaller the bundle of wires becomes; until the very last wire ends at a hole at the top of the pole.  Each and every faux-pine branch would come pre-lit with LED lights and would also have some sorts of color coded or numbered plug that would correspond with a socket in the trunk.  As the color coded branch end slips into the pole it also “plugs in”; very similarly to the way your cell phone or digital camera does.

The beauty of this system is three-fold.

1). It’s simple to set-up, take down, and store.  Artificial trees were invented for a reason.  At some point, somebody must have decided that pulling out a box and snapping together an artificial tree was easier then schlepping a real tree around.  When did we decide storing a full size fake tree was easier than dismantling one and storing it in a square box?  Who has that kind of room in their house?  “Oh, but they fold up”, you say.  Hardly.  In my experience they fold up about as small as their real-life counterpart does.  That is to say, not terribly small.

2). LEDs and USB style power systems consume very little electricity.

3). Certain LEDs can be programed to be any color.  This means if you’re like me and prefer all white lights, but your kids like colored lights, and your wife wants only blue lights… no problem.  Just change the program whenever you want.

I’ll start taking orders for production as soon as I feel there’s a market for my idea.  So… what do you think a product like that is worth?


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