BI-GOODNESS is a bi-monthly column dedicated to the quirky, generally funny and often dangerously impractical inventions and business concepts that occasionally come our way. It is a tribute to the one-eyed entrepreneur, the nutty professor and dotcom jockey in each of us.
It’s fair to say that aeroplane hijacking is a pursuit reserved for the more extreme elements of humanity. But even a raving, psychotic hijacker bent on world domination needs to take a load off sooner or later. Right?
In 1974, back when hijackers actually had demands and were prepared to wait for them to be met, a deceptively simple anti-terrorism idea was registered as US Patent 3,481,328. It entailed fitting a hypodermic needle injector under every seat on the plane.
The inventor’s description was stark: “The hypodermic injection apparatus is arranged for driving the needle of a hypodermic syringe through the seat cushion, into the passenger to instantly sedate or kill the passenger”.
Pure genius! Except . . . er, if the hijacker refuses to sit down. Or worse, decides he or she wants to fly the plane. And is this really a source of solace for the other passengers, who are relying on the steward’s command of arithmetic to ensure the right button is pressed? As if there wasn’t enough to fret over during turbulence.
Thankfully, the hijacker injector never caught on, as you’d certainly think twice before calling the hostess over and asking for a shot of something strong.