We are an inventive species. When we take the time to rub two brain cells together we can come up with some pretty amazing things. It’s important to keep in mind though that ‘amazing’ is a word that exists on a spectrum.

On the ‘great’ end of the Amazing Spectrum you will find things like the wheel, music and shaped skis. At the opposite end lives contrivances like New Coke, hydrogenated oils and tanning beds. There is, of course, the middle zone where we find the things we take for granted every day: credit cards and bar codes, just to name two. But there exists a region of the Amazing Spectrum shrouded in mystery, an area whose inventions are so outside the boundaries of logic (and good taste) that they cause the brain to shut down when it tries to decipher their origins. It’s known simply as the Drunk Zone.

So named because an inventor could only have just downed a bottle of Grey Goose before conceiving of their idea (think parachute pants), the contraptions that inhabit the Drunk Zone have been responsible for a great deal of discord in the world (think Snuggie.) The odd thing about these inventions is that their creators almost universally had good intentions when they stumbled to the drawing board. Take wind chimes for example.

About 5,000 years ago, somebody thought it would be a good idea to string together some pieces of bronze and tin, and hang them around their home and garden. The initial intent was to ward off evil spirits, but the lilting breezes that floated through the warm climes of the wind chime’s birth place must have created a melodic sound, and the tunes caught on. Flash forward to September of 2014 and the wind chime band still plays on. And lucky for me, they’ve found a home on my neighbor’s front porch; the porch that sits just about 100 feet from my bedroom window. But here’s the rub: there’s no such thing as a lilting breeze in Vermont in mid-September.

Fall has come to New England. Blazes of saffron and crimson have started to engulf the surrounding mountainsides. Days are now stingy with their light. And the rich aroma of smoke has begun to ride the nightly winds (not breezes) as people fire-up their wood stoves. It’s the perfect time of year to sleep with your window open. Unless of course the winds coming out of the mountains average between 15 and 20 miles per hour, and your neighbor has installed a battery of wind chimes large enough to ward off Hell itself. Then sleep can only come one way: to find the same zone that led to the wind chimes’ invention and have a bottle of Advil at the ready.