Wind Chimes: The Least Useful Invention Ever

Sometime around 600 BC in the heart of the Roman empire sat two individuals.

“Hey, Marcius,” said the first man. “Is it windy out here? I can’t quite tell.”

Marcius licked his finger and held it into the air. His face scrunched and screwed. “You know, Valentinius, I can’t really tell either.”

Marcius and Valentinius sat there for a while, an awkward silence growing between them. They stared at the trees hoping to get a hint, but the leaves gave no indicators to the weather.

“Did you watch the news earlier today? Maybe the meterologists said something.”

Valentinius looked at Marcius as if he was the biggest idiot on the planet. The first television would not be invented for another 2500 years, so what Marcius had said was pure and utter nonsense, the type liable to get one thrown to the lions in this time period. Fortunately for Marcius, Valentinius was a good friend and would spare his life today.

“If only there was an audible way to tell that the wind was indeed blowing,” Valentinius said, a far off look drifting into his eyes. The two spent the next few hours stringing together pieces of metal. Like that, the first set of wind chimes was born.

There have been a lot of ridiculous inventions in the history of mankind, from the Snuggie™ to those helmets that hold beer cans for the alcoholic who can’t be bothered to hoist a can all the way to his mouth, but these can’t even hold a candle to wind chimes as the most useless invention of all time.

I was outside today when, from a distant balcony, I heard the tinkling of the wind chimes in the breeze. It was a very peaceful sound.

CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG

As the chimes continued, I began to grow irritated. Is there really a person who needs to know every single time there is wind? There’s some sort of breeze most days. Can’t we just assume that it is always a bit windy?

Besides, wind chimes really only alert you to a small breeze. I doubt that during a hurricane you can hear the gentle clanging of the metal pipes. I would bet you’re more likely to hear the sound of a set of wind chimes being batted against the wall of your home repeatedly.

I might be missing the point, though. Maybe wind chimes weren’t made as a meteorological tool. Perhaps they were there to relax you and help you forget the stresses of the day.

CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG

No, they definitely don’t relax you.

Maybe there is a really practical purpose. I pulled out my smart phone and began to research. According to Wikipedia, the ultimate resource for all things, wind chimes were hung in gardens by the Ancient Romans because they were “believed to keep off evil spirits, and so they were often combined with the phallus which was also a symbol of good fortune and a charm against evil.”

Uh… So they were used in combination with… uh…

Why do we hang them up then?

CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG

At this point, I was ready to scale the wall, rip the wind chimes down and destroy them with my own two hands. They serve literally no purpose unless you are concerned about evil spirits. Even then, it seems these people were missing a key spirit deterrent on their balcony.

Then I took a step back. In this age of technology, maybe this relic of an ancient time is there to remind us of simpler days. We don’t need all the bells and whistles of our local news stations’s “First Alert StormVision Super Doppler Forewarn StormTracker HD” radar to know about the weather that Mother Nature has graced us with. We can experience it ourselves.

I listened to the chimes with a renewed sense of wonder. This simple tool was alerting us to wind, a force that cannot be seen by the naked eye. It’s almost magical.

CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG

No, it’s still annoying.

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7 thoughts on “Wind Chimes: The Least Useful Invention Ever

  1. My favorite wind chime belongs to an aunt of mine, who has never done or owned anything that made much sense. She has a wind chime coupled with a bird feeder on top. Peak enjoyment comes around 5am when the squirrels offer their own personal wake-up call. It sounds like the fender fell off a car outside your window.

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  2. I hate wind chimes so much that when my neighbour moved, I asked her if she was taking her windchimes and when she said no, I asked if I could have them… purely so that the new neighbours wouldn’t get any funny ideas about thinking they were cool, and leaving them up to continue CLANKING!

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