I'm not sure if they have "first-ballot" throw-downs at the National Inventors Hall of Fame like the sportswriters do for Cooperstown, but for a moment, let's imagine they do.
"The Popsicle definitely belongs in the Hall, it's a summer classic, cool, refreshing and has more flavors and colors than Willie Wonka's wallpaper."
"The Popsicle? Be serious. Sure it's had longevity but it never achieved the consistency of the Fudgesicle or had the monster breakout summers of the Creamsicle. Have you ever tasted a banana Popsicle? Over-rated, (clap, clap, clap, clap), Over-rated, (clap, clap, clap, clap)..."
"You, my frozen treat peer, are an idiot. Popsicles changed the way we feel about summer. Melting sidewalks on steamy August days became cause for celebration, a two-Popsicle afternoon! The Fudgesicle, that might as well be a Jell-O Pudding Pop for Pete's sake...and don't forget, the Popsicle was invented by an eleven-year-old kid! By accident!"
"I agree. The Popsicle overcame a lot to get where it is today. But I still think it's a case of many solid seasons, not a lot of great ones. By your standards, every item on the Good Humor truck deserves a look. It's a slippery slope, what's next? The Drumstick? The Fred Flinstone push-up sherbet? Fudgie the freaking whale?"
"Don't you dare talk trash about Fudgie. Them's fighting words."
I'd hope that's how it goes down at the National Inventors Hall of Fame, with much rancor, vigor and grandstanding as the inductees are announced. This year's crop of inventors created a wide range of products: the essential (Matthias Baldwin: steam locomotive), the life saving (Garrett Morgan: gas mask, traffic signal), the sublime (Les Paul: electric guitar) and the somewhat edible (Clarence Birdseye: frozen foods). Nowhere else will one find the inventor of plutonium (Glenn Seaborg) sharing the proverbial stage with the genius behind Valium (Leo Sternbach), but really could one exist without the other?
If you had a vote, what one invention (and thus its inventor) belongs in the Hall of Fame?
I'll stick with the Popsicle -- especially if the bring back the 7Up incarnation -- but I'm willing to debate.