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Swiss Man Makes Fruitless Effort to Replicate Aggravating Plant

February 27, 2017

March 5, 1950



Swiss Engineer Georges de Mestral outside, posing for a nice portrait. His delightful gaze allows one to see into his “imaginative” mind.  Anthony S / CC-BY-SA-3.0

It’s a cool spring evening. You’re taking a stroll through the woods with your favorite person. The flowers are beautiful, the sky is clear, and the trees provide just enough shade that the golden light from the sunset is not too bright, pleasing your eyes in a sweet caramel-colored ray, like a sip of ambrosia offered to you by the gods. Suddenly, you feel a sharp pain on the skin of your calf. You bend down and find that a sharp, thorny seed has detached from its parent plant and attached to your skin. Your night of joy is tainted by some plant’s attempt at spreading its genes.

Wouldn’t you like to experience this on a day to day basis? Of course you wouldn’t. But a swiss engineer by the name of Georges de Mestral thinks it would better society to bring this menace further from nature and into our everyday lives.

Mestral’s invention attempts to mimic the mechanics of the burr seed to form what is being called a “zipperless zipper.” I contacted the man to see if he could explain the madness behind this hazardous creation.

“My invention comes in two pieces that attach to each other. One is covered with thousands of tiny hooks, while the other is coated with thousands of tiny loops. When pressed together, the two pieces of fabric form a grip that can only be broken with intent; they won’t detach accidentally. It is marvelous!,” Mestral deluded.

The burr, the inspiration behind Mestral’s product, uses its thorns to attach to animals in order to transport itself to a viable place to grow.   Zephyris / CC-BY-SA-3.0

He plans to patent his creation next year under the name “Velcro,” a combination of the words “velvet” and “crochet.” This suggests an elegant, peaceful product, but the name is terribly misleading. When separating the pieces of the adhesive, one hears a horrid noise likely similar to that of a person’s hair being torn from their scalp.

“Of course!” Mestral proclaimed with excitement, “with such a strong bond, one must expect the release of a prominent sound upon forcing the sheets apart. It should serve as a demonstration of the material’s wonderful adhesive capability, but I do understand if you are simply afraid of loud noises. This is okay.”

Possibly due to his narcissistic, condescending personality, Mestral failed to recognize the glaring risks of his idea. What if a consumer were to accidentally attach the thorny thing to their skin? An unintentional hair or even skin removal could result in some unfortunate lawsuits.

“Your hypothetical situation is not remotely realistic. The tiny hooks could not pierce your skin any more than a sword could pierce that thicker-than-brick skull of yours. I am not confident that someone with your, eh, mental stamina is qualified to thoroughly review products,” he meandered.

Despite the man’s foolhardy efforts to defend his brainchild, I offer him no pity. Mestral’s having based a design off of an already terribly irritating plant shows how naïve and closed-minded he really is. I rate this product two out of ten for lack of effort and creativity.

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