Sometimes ideas come along that are so monumentally brilliant they have the potential to be life altering. So stunning are these, at some point in the future we all will wonder how we ever got along without these things. I have two of these “genius ideas” that merit your consideration. 


The first genius idea relates to shopping. In case you have never noticed, men and women shop differently. When a man goes into a store for “a couple of things,” he actually grabs those things, pays for them, and leaves the store. Total elapsed time of the shopping trip is about five minutes. When a woman goes to a store for “a couple of things,” it involves also inspecting the entire inventory of the store. Total elapsed time of the shopping trip is somewhere between (the man's) five minutes and  someone filing a missing person's report. 


Now, when a man and a woman go shopping together this means the shopping parameters don't match up. So, the usual instructions from the woman to the man are: “When you're done wait for me up front.” (Sound familiar, guys?) I have a lot of miles on my marriage odometer, so I can “stand over there and wait” with the best of them. I am so good at “standing there and waiting” that last week in a store a kid came up to me and asked me if I worked there. (True story.) 


Ah, but relief is in sight and this is where the “genius idea” comes into play. No more standing and waiting for the men. Women will never again be subjected to men whining and complaining about having to stand and wait. Enter “husband storage facilities for wives to leave their spouse while they shop.” 


A mall in China has debuted husband storage pods. In these glass pods, wives can deposit any disgruntled husbands who don't want to shop. “Inside each individual pod is a chair, monitor, computer and game pad, and men can sit and play games. Currently, the service is free, but in future months, users will be able to scan a QR code and pay a small sum for the service using their mobile phones.” 


Is this genius or what? You can see stores with multiple departments having interest specific husband pods all over the store. A hardware pod in the hardware department, a sports pod in sporting goods, a game pod in electronics, and a tractor pod in the garden center. 


I'm telling you folks, every store in America needs to jump on this bandwagon! Men will now be more than happy to go shopping. What wife has not wanted to banish their husband to a pod on occasion? Think of the relationships that will be saved! (


Due to the husband storage pods, many couples will be so happy they may want to extend the shopping trip into a full fledged date. This is where genius idea number two comes in. 


So, here's the question. Do you like a good hamburger covered in gooey cheese? I mean, it's like one of the major food groups in this country, right? I love a good burger, so I have sampled some really excellent ones in many area restaurants. None of these burgers, however, employ the genius idea of the “burger in a skirt” technique. 


The “burger in a skirt” was invented by the Squeeze Inn in Sacramento, CA and has been featured on the Food Network. On the Internet are recipes to duplicate this. It's not a patented technique, so anyone can do it.  


Essentially, you put a burger on a grill, put a handful of shredded cheese on the burger, toss some ice chips around it, and put a cover over the whole thing. The cheese spreads out and forms a “skirt” around the burger. On the burger the cheese is gooey, but the skirt on the grill becomes crunchy. When put on a bun the burger has a skirt around it and it is pure cheese heaven. I've tried this at home, but you really need a restaurant style flat top grill to get it right.


In my humble opinion, this is a “get off the expressway” sandwich. You know, someone is driving down the expressway and thinks, “I'm getting off here because I want to go to that restaurant where they have that awesome burger with a skirt.” This is a genius idea looking for a local home.  (


Well, there you have it. To genius ideas. Hmmmmm...wait a minute. A husband pod where you can have a burger in a skirt delivered. We may be onto something. 


Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at and