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January 31, 2006

Clean Shopper™ — Because how do you know who was there before you?


Ever wonder about that kid with the stinky diaper sitting in a shopping cart?

Not so much about the kid but, rather, about the shopping cart after it's put back into the rotation.

That's the one you used earlier today when you were shopping.

Oh — maybe I wasn't supposed to say anything.

My bad.

As Missy Cohen–Fiffe told Ellen Tien for a feature in Sunday's New York Times, "I didn't want my son to hold the germy metal handle of the carts."

So she created the Clean Shopper (top), a quilted cotton liner that fits into the child seat of shopping carts and covers the handle as well.

Said Ms. Cohen–Fiffe, "Every time I used it in a store, people asked me where they could buy one."

So she decided to make and sell them and thus was her business born.

Clean Shopper now comes in many colors and patterns and costs $29.95 here.

[via Ellen Tien and the New York Times]


No matter what, you will do yourself a favor if you put the little plastic piece in the full upright position instead of flat down on the little rack of your shopping cart.

Consider the differing exposures of the two sides of that movable plastic piece — really stop and think about it for a moment — and I guarantee you it will never remain down again.

Can you imagine what you could culture off the ceiling–facing surface of one of those?



When I was in medical school I invented something wonderful.

I made two of them — one (the prototype) for myself and a second one for my best friend.

I purchased a sheet of 1"–thick styrofoam and cut it very precisely into pieces which I glued together, creating a box perfectly sized to hold a large pizza.

When I went to pick up my pizza (they didn't deliver) from the place in Westwood (near U.C.L.A., where I went to school — I had no car so I walked from my apartment and back) that I liked I'd bring my box and slip the pizza into it.

Every single time the people there would say "Hey, where'd you get that? That is so cool."

I said I made it.

My friend loved his and said I should patent it.

Even then I had no interest in such things: me, I prefer to give it away.

Call it a quirk.

Anyway, I called my creation the "Hot Box."

Some years later Dominos and then all the rest started using similar heat–retaining devices.

January 31, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink


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I'm with Betty. You're an MD, Joe, so you know our immune systems are strengthened by exposure to the yucky stuff around us. And you know our attempt to create a germ-free world has only led to super germs. It's time to stop the madness. Take the keys away from the "germophobes."

Posted by: Al Christensen | Feb 1, 2006 8:48:29 AM

Jeez, after reading your comment about the plastic baby-butt petri dish and betty's comments, I don't know whether to sh*t or wind my watch.

Posted by: Flutist | Jan 31, 2006 4:36:19 PM

That cute little girl is my 14-month daughter, Lia Elizabeth. She has a twin brother, Alan, and can be seen on my blog at http://johnkemeny.com/blog .

Posted by: John Kemeny | Jan 31, 2006 4:33:06 PM

After reading this, I wonder how any of us survived. First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking. As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because we were always playing outside. We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were OK. We would spend hours building our go?carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We did not have playstations, Nintendo?s, X?boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms because WE HAD FRIENDS, and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. And if you are one of them! Congratulations.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn?t it?!

Posted by: betty | Jan 31, 2006 4:08:00 PM

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