They Should Make It: Individual Rotating Dinner Plate

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This is “They Should Make It.” It’ll appear here every Tuesday and will contain some really mind-bending ideas for products and services that don’t yet exist—but should! You may not agree with my ideas, and that’s okay. It’s not like we’re taking a road trip together or anything.

There I was with a plate full of various delicious dinner items on St. Patrick’s Day last week. Although I’ve acquired a taste for corned beef (my wife is Irish, I’m Norwegian), I still can’t do boiled cabbage. Something about hot, wet lettuce just seems unnatural. But even without the boiled cabbage, I had enough stuff on my plate to keep me interested.

I should mention that I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to mix food items together. So if I have five different items on a plate, I’ll eat all of one particular item before moving on to the next. That’s the way it’s always been.

So I’d finished my corned beef and it was time to move on to something that looked like potatoes but tasted like the number zero (turnips, maybe?). As I went to rotate my plate in order to get the potato-like items situated directly in front of me, the bottom of the plate caught on the cloth placemat, which bunched up and began to tip my water glass over. It was me (a Norwegian) and seven Irish people at the table. Leave it to the Norwegian to ruin St. Patrick’s Day for everyone. Thankfully, I caught my glass before it spilled.

But as I was catching my glass in what seemed like bullet-time, it dawned on me that none of this would have happened if my plate would have featured a rotating bottom. Sure, I could have picked my plate up off the table and rotated it in the air before setting it back down, but it’s 2010 and this is America. We should be able to easily rotate our dinner plates.

Now I know that rotating platters and serving trays exist, but I’m talking about individual rotating dinner plates. While we’re at it, there might as well be individual rotating salad and ice cream bowls, too. I shared this idea with the seven Irish people at the table and, after a period of awkward silence, one of them remarked that a plate that rotated too easily might cause problems. So I suggested (and continue to suggest) that the plate should have a mechanism that locks it in place but can be triggered in order to allow the plate to spin. Perhaps like how a boat rack works. I’m not sure. I’m just the idea man here.

So they should make it. An individual rotating dinner plate. Bowls would be okay too, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Baby steps first.