One of the great conundrums on Gilligan's Island was this: How was it that the professor could build a fully-functional communication system using nothing but coconuts, vines and bamboo, yet he couldn't patch a two-foot hole in a boat?
Well, I've got news for you. It wasn't just the professor that had paradoxical mechanical skills. That same type of inconsistency still exists, and it's rampant in modern society.
On the other hand, I present you with the Georgia-Pacific Compact 3000 toilet paper dispenser.
While the Boeing 747 requires precision on many different levels, the Georgia-Pacific Compact 3000 has but one function -- holding a roll of toilet paper in such a way that the paper can be torn off efficiently. This isn't a complex task we're talking about here, yet the folks at Georgia-Pacific have managed to develop a product that fails to clear a bar set even that low.
Allow me to elaborate. The men's room at my place of employment features the Compact 3000 in each of the stalls. Just the other day I was doing my business and, when finished, I attempted to pull off the necessary amount of toilet paper. Now, I'm a fairly big guy, and I'd eaten a decent amount of roughage during the preceding 18-24 hours. The resulting download required, in my estimation, at least 8-10 squares of two-ply to get the job done. I grabbed the end of the toilet paper, pulled gently, and one solitary square ripped off in my hand.
The Compact 3000 loads two rolls at a time. Due to a severe design defect, there is not enough space between the two rolls to allow free-rotation of the engaged roll. There's also the issue of side clearance. At any rate, it is virtually impossible to get more than two squares on one tug, even if you're careful. I defy anyone to execute a thorough ass-wiping with two measly squares of Charmin.
Okay, so there I was, sitting on the throne, with one slightly torn square of toilet paper in my hand. I gave it another tug. Rip. One more square. I could have continued this one-by-one process until I had enough paper for the job, but as everyone knows, ten individual squares are not nearly as effective as one ten-square strip. It's a matter of tensile strength. So now I had to use a two-handed approach. The Compact 3000 is mounted on the left wall of the bathroom stall, so from my seated position I had to lift the top roll with the back of my left hand while pulling the toilet paper from the bottom roll. It worked, but the task required much more effort than one would expect.
Ironically enough, the toilet paper dispensers on the Boeing 747 are much more efficient. Usually, it's just one simple bar built into the front sink panel. Simple, efficient and effective.
I'd like to suggest that the people over at Boeing diversify just a bit and use their experience to develop toilet paper dispensers that work every time. Maybe get the landing-gear guys involved. Install a button on the toilet, and when pressed, a roll of toilet paper extends out from the wall, right in front of you. Tear off the needed amount, press the button again, and the toilet paper roll retracts. Voila! Call it something like Boeing Extension Mechanism Number Two. For the mechanics at Boeing, it would probably be a piece of cake.
Hell, the professor probably could've made one out of banana peels.