Vermont man gains internet fame for 'unnecessary inventions'

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) "My mind is always just running with new ideas," Matt Benedetto said.

For the past two months, Benedetto has been creating things you don't need.

"I call them unnecessary inventions," he said.

Like this contraption.

"This is the cuisine curtain," Benedetto said. "So if you know someone who is always eating with their mouth open, it attaches and covers their mouth so they can still eat with their mouth open."

Video of him demonstrating it online racked up 30 million views in the past week.

Reporter Cat Viglienzoni: Is that comfortable to wear?
Matt Benedetto: Absolutely not!
Cat Viglienzoni: That looks uncomfortable.
Matt Benedetto: It is not comfortable whatsoever.

Benedetto's videos look like real product ads. But you won't be able to use his airsticks to eat your sushi. They're not for sale. His videos-- usually edited to cover up product snafus-- are just for the internet to enjoy or argue about. Like the burrito trough.

"Eating a burrito sideways is blasphemy," Benedetto said.

The Burlington entrepreneur funds his hobby with two online businesses designing and selling phone accessories and travel products. Those pay the bills but don't make him famous the way "avocado on a stick" does.

It only takes him a couple days and a 3D printer to go from idea to product. Many, like "sticky feet," don't survive the video and don't have much use. Like this:

"This is the 'do not paint' roller," Benedetto said.

Or his pet hair roller.

"So if you don't have a dog, you can tell people you have a dog by rolling the fur all over your clothes," Benedetto said.

That comes in different breeds. Just don't call his inventions useless.

"I think people confuse the words useless and unnecessary. It can have a use but still be completely unnecessary to have in your life," Benedetto said.

Like the condiment-dispensing fork.

"You can individually put condiments on your fries as you're eating. It has a use!" he said. "But would you really find this necessary to use?"

And that's the point.

"When they first see them, I want them to think, 'Wow, that's the stupidest thing I've ever seen.' And then they sort of go toward-- maybe I'll use it for this," Benedetto explained.

His latest creation is the argument-ending rotating toilet paper dispenser.

Matt Benedetto: So if you have to go to the bathroom and you have your one specific way you have to have your toilet paper, it can go that way.
Cat Viglienzoni: You're going to save marriages with this one!
Matt Benedetto: Exactly! (laughs)

And if you think all of this is just a waste-- he doesn't care. It's fun.