This beloved country of ours has everything you could ever want and a lot of what we do not need. We have got too much stuff and the containers and wrapping they come in.

We pride ourselves on the stuff we invent, improve, reinvent and outlandish needs we never needed before. Like Keurig pods that clog landfills until they came up with pods you can recycle and a bunch of different kinds of permanent pods.

I would venture to say the American “free market” is out of control for all the choices we have. Case in point is the endless varieties of hummus, the subject of a recent rant. We will not plow that ground again.

You have nothing to do than watch TV to understand how the free market on steroids has taken over our medicine cabinets and dressing tables. It’s madness!

Toothpaste as an example. Gather ‘round and listen.

You can have toothpaste that is tasteless or “fresh cooling mint.” There are fluoride varieties and those without fluoride if you still think the tooth saving additive is the devil’s work or a Communist plot.

Toothpaste that whitens or not and some for sensitive or others for non-sensitive teeth, which fight plaque. You can imagine when our favorite brand announced it was putting everything into one tube.

I am still waiting for a tube of toothpaste that cannot be squeezed in the middle. If the toothpaste giants of industry could perfect a tube that cannot be squeezed in the middle and a with a cap that doesn’t roll off the sink and behind the toilet.

And not those worthless little snap caps that attach with a plastic hinge and get gummed up and unclose-able after a couple of uses. And ungumming them on a running-late morning is not gonna happen. Next time you use it, ugh! So you cut off the plastic hinge and wrap foil around the top and pray for the best.

Let’s take a look at a couple of honest to goodness advancements, stuff that does not come in tubes.

Topping the list of “Who Knew We Needed This” comes word of a revolutionary new product from Unilever, the company that brought us dozens of products like Lipton tea, Noxzema and the Heartland tofu burrito.

Now comes the company’s fix for a problem we women never knew we had. Unsightly uneven colored arm pits. Seriously, who spends that much time showing off their armpits where uneven skin tone has become shameful.

Lady basketball players could use this, I guess. That is a pretty small market, and I dare say these women are more obsessed with perfecting their outside shot than addressing blotchy armpits.

Nevertheless, Unilever has developed the cure. Its Dove brand “Even Tone Antiperspirant Deodorant for Uneven Skin Tone with Rejuvenating Blossom Sweat Block for an All-day Fresh Feeling.”

It’s sad to think the chemist who invented this once dreamed of curing cancer. There is no room for idealism in the army of free marketeers.

Second on our list of questionable needs comes from our neighbors in Solon. Stouffer’s has come up with something just for mac and cheese fans, and who isn’t.

It is called the Mac on Tap – a machine that dispenses endless amounts of Stouffers luscious macaroni and cheese, at will, from the comfort of your recliner.

Clever, yes, but OMG it could kill you before the pandemic does. There you are on home lockdown. You have just read the last book on the shelf and oiled the last hinge on every door from attic to basement and you are out of things on the “to do” list.

That is when the siren call from your Mac on Tap is irresistible. It’s too horrible to imagine what will happen next.

Relax for now. This devil’s plaything is still being tested and tweaked.

A veteran reporter and columnist, Barbara Christian has been covering Chagrin Falls since 1967 and is currently responsible for Chagrin Falls village events, government and school board news along with her weekly column "Window on Main Street."

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