I was called "Smarty Pants" a few too many times in my childhood. A little girl who can't keep sarcastic asides to herself isn't silenced by a nonsense term, especially when the invective is hurled by underpaid math teachers who are encased in terribly unflattering polyester slacks. The ultimate not-smart pants.Now I'm well into adulthood and still too smart for my pants, thank you. I'm also not living up to my potential, just as my teachers predicted. Perhaps inventing pants that qualify as truly smart could be my lucky break. Futuristic technology must be out there just waiting to be applied to legs and backsides in a fashionable manner.What features would Smarty Pants offer the savvy wearer?
- Zapper to halt any verbal or physical form of stupidity. Imitating the irritating way your boss smacks her lips for emphasis after every third word? Smarty Pants will helpfully jolt you with a mild electric shock if your boss is in range. Tempted to accept a drink with whoever is waving from the shadows of the airport bar? Your pants will know if that's the pilot. Zap again.
- A memory chip. This technology will mobilize at the first sign of perplexity. Forgotten names, numbers and directions will appear on a Post-It in the Smarty Pants pocket for discreet retrieval. This could come in handy as the decades roll by.
- Low dose laser to melt fat in preselected areas even while the pants wearer is noshing on a post-lunch snack. Disclaimer: noticeable steam generated by the device must be dissipated by walking briskly or swiveling in one's office chair.
- Seat belt tightener for those situations where the Smarty Pants wearer is sharing the road with idiots. Or is driving like an idiot. It happens.
- Anti-skid device. Not that kind. The kind that helps the wearer remain upright and avoid slipping on ice, tripping over curbs, skidding on banana peels, you know, equilibrium cruise control. Graceful strolling guaranteed, even for the chronic klutzes.
- A clever anti-erection device, useful in situations when this state unwelcome. It will activate anywhere within range of the wearer when needed, a handy androgynous feature. Never fear, the feature causes no permanent disability.
- Warming and cooling agents. Hot wait on a plastic seat at the DMV? Smarty Pants will provide a zone of frosty coolness from waistband to ankles. Tobogganing on a sudden whim? Smarty Pants will make sure you are a hottie. But not so toasty that you melt the ice.
- Wrinkle-free, stain-proof and fade-free fabric. What's more, these exceptional trousers will also be fireproof, inflate as emergency flotation devices, deflect bullets and sport James Bond-like gadgets which are so top secret that each pair of pants will be unique. Figuring out the instruction manual may require tech support.
- Auxiliary wit, of course. Smarty Pants will telepathically transmit clever banter and satirical remarks for every occasion. Unfortunately, this may become habit. Human smarty pants rarely know when to keep comments to themselves. It isn't likely that the trousers model will be any more discerning.
Laura Grace Weldon is the author of Free Range Learning (Hohm Press). Find her online at www.lauragraceweldon.com.