Coming up with ideas is getting expensive

I was looking for ideas for this radio show the other day, but my plan went awry. My intent was to find inspiration; instead, I found an item I just couldn’t live without.

Believe it or not, I sometimes run out of ideas for this radio show. My favorite source of inspiration is the name of this program: The Great Outdoors. If I can get outside, I can usually find enough fodder for about a week of shows. If I hurt myself, as I often do, I can even get two weeks of shows out of a single outing.

But I can’t always get away from the office. When I can’t break free, I have to look elsewhere for my inspiration. A cartoonist I know named Bruce Cochran told me a while ago that he sometimes finds ideas in the pages of the outdoors catalogs that come in the mail. He said if he’s stuck for ideas, a quick flip through a Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops catalog can kick-start his creativity.

I decided to give his advice a try a week or so ago. I got to looking through one of the catalogs that’s always on the corner of my computer desk, but it didn’t take long for me to forget the reason I was looking through it. One minute I was looking for ideas, and the next I was saying, “Hey, that would really be handy.”

The result of my foray into the catalog was a box that showed up on my doorstep a few days ago. The UPS guy had left it while I was at work. I had completely forgotten I had ordered it, so it was a pleasant surprise.

I opened the box, and sure enough, it was my Big Foot Bag. It’s touted as the only bag that works when it’s empty. The idea is that it unzips completely, and you can lay it flat on the ground and stand on it when you put your waders on or take them off, and you don’t have to get your socks all dirty and full of sticks. It’s a pretty good idea, and I decided I needed to get one of my own.

When I realized I’d gotten off task, I wrote to Bruce and told him I’d goofed up when I was following his advice. He admitted it happens to him all the time. Oh, now you tell me, Bruce.

Well, at least I got an idea for a show out of it, and a pretty cool bag, to boot.