Dwain Walden

I find it amazing as well as amusing the many new inventions that come to us via infomercials on late night/wee hours television. One of the latest has to do with that long-time challenge of slicing tomatoes. Prior to our first television, I never knew there was an issue with slicing tomatoes. Similarly, I didn’t know there were so many emergencies to deal with until I bought my first cell phone.

Last night I was introduced to a little device into which one places a tomato. It has concentric rings that cover the tomato into which you place a knife blade. The sole purpose is to allow you to slice a tomato with the resulting slices being exactly the same thickness. I’m surprised that we tomato lovers have been able to get by so long without it. 

Actually, I’m being facetious. I’ve never heard a discussion at the dinner table about the precise slicing of tomatoes. At our house, we’ve never compared tomato slices as I can recall. We have discussed their tartness and juiciness though. And we complain about the price of them in the off season.

 I’m not saying people won’t buy and use this thing, but the ultimate question is, what does an equally sliced tomato mean to a sandwich? It’s kind of like asking, what is time to a hog?

Prior to this invention, some of these same marketers were selling really sharp knives that would allow you to get more slices from a single tomato. Ultimately, because of the thinness, you would put two slices of tomato on your hamburger instead of one thicker one. In my opinion, there is no net accomplishment.

But the catch was, you could also use this same knife to saw galvanized pipe into.

 Well, on those days when I crawled under the house to fix plumbing, I never used a kitchen knife, especially one that I would later use to slice tomatoes for my lunch. I typically used a hacksaw. It just always seemed to work. And I’ve never sliced a tomato with a hacksaw.

I’m assuming that you could take this particular knife and the aforementioned equal thickness tomato slicer and apply it to galvanized pipe. Just slip the pipe into the concentric rings holder and saw away. In just a few minutes you could make a sack full of galvanized wedding bands.

I doubt sales of this tomato slicing gadget will take off like Lindberg. Even though slightly more functional, I’m guessing it will be about as popular as Teflon- coated paperweights guaranteed to last a lifetime.

I’ve learned through the years that the key to successful marketing of new products is not whether a device is actually needed but whether you can convince someone that he needs it.  It’s about reality versus perception. My assessment is that I can get along just fine without  an equal-size tomato slicer. On the other hand, I think God set aside a special day for the invention of the trolling motor.

 If you have a problem with this analogy of reality versus perception, then just think of the contrast between what a legislator is really doing and what he is giving the appearance of doing. Unless you are comatose, you should get the picture.

(Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer, 985-4545. Email: dwain.walden@gaflnews.com)

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