Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Stepwise growth

Staged growth for progeny.
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The problem with children is that they grow continuously up to the age of about 18. This means frequent purchasing of new clothes and shoes as they outgrow the old ones.

The growth of an individual cell is largely a stepwise phenomenon. The cell sits around for quite a while, then divides into two new cells. Each of these cells then rapidly grows to the size of the original cell, in a relatively short space of time. Hence, the growth of a single cell, plotted as a graph, would be a sort of a staircase with not-quite-vertical risers.

Children, however, are woefully asynchronous. Each cell is undergoing this quasi-stepwise growth, but is out of synch with it's neighbours. The result is a superficially smooth and continuous growth pattern, necessitating frequent trips to clothing stores and shoemongers.

Asynchronous growth woes begone! Stop-n-Go-Step-n-Gro products (a wholly-owned subsidiary of MaxCo, Inc.) is proud to present it's coincidentally- named Stop-n-Go-Step-n-Gro system for children and parents everywhere and beyond.

As you're doubtless aware, colchicine is a natural product first isolated from the autumn crocus. It inhibits mitosis, stopping the cell cycle just before the point of division. In laboratories, it is used to synchronise cell cultures by blocking cell division until all cells have caught up and are waiting to divide. The colchicine is then removed, and all the cells go through cell division at the same time, and remain in synch for a while thereafter.

Our Stop-n-Go-Step-n-Gro Milkshakes contain just that special dose of colchicine. Just one SGSG Shake a day will keep your child's cells delicately poised on the verge of mitosis, until every last cell is just raring to divide. Then cut out the SGSG Shakes for three days and - ipso calypso! - one year's growth in the space of just 48 hours.

With careful administration, SGSG can transform your child's growth from an endless shoe-shop-visiting experience to a simple series of five size-doublings, timed to suit your budget.

Available in banana, guava and lamb flavour.

MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 15 2008


       The trouble with this is that parents will be left needing to buy new shoes, trousers, shirts, jumpers, school uniforms etc. all at the same time. For a typical working family with two school-age children this is a major expenditure.   

       This idea would be much more useful to cash-strapped parents if they could somehow stagger the growth of different body parts throughout the year, to coincide with the availability of money.   

       "No, Timmy, mummy and daddy can't afford to let your legs grow until next month. We only bought Janey a new pair of shoes last week!"   

Wrongfellow, Oct 16 2008

       Love it. [+]
theleopard, Oct 16 2008

       //The trouble with this is that parents will be left needing to buy new shoes, trousers, shirts, jumpers, school uniforms etc. all at the same time.// Au not at all! Consider the roughly exponential (but irregular) growth of a typical, uncontrolled child, in terms of shoe sizes: 0,0,0,1,1,2 ,2,3,3,4,5,5,5,6,6,7,8,9,11, 13, 14, 15, 16 - a total of 17 purchases are needed (assuming that the child never keeps a pair of shoes long enough to wear out).   

       Now consider stepwise growth, appropriately controlled: 0,0,0,0,0,1,1,1,1,1,2,2, 2,2,4,4,4,4,8,8,8,8,16   

       Same initial and final sizes, same timespan, but only six purchases needed. All you are doing is cutting out some of the intermediate steps.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 17 2008

       Well, the drug is about 85 cents for a 0.5g pill. So, if you are giving one of these pills everyday, then we're talking about 300 dollars a year. Depending on how nice you dress your kids, this may actually work out. +
daseva, Oct 17 2008

       I can see how your proposal reduces the total number and value of clothes purchases.   

       My point is that if you allow your entire child to undergo cell division all at once, then each of those six purchases has to consist of an entire new set of clothes.   

       Shoe size: 0,0,0,0,0,1,1,1,1,1,2,2, 2,2,4,4,4,4,8,8,8,8,16
Trouser size: 0,0,0,0,0,1,1,1,1,1,2,2, 2,2,4,4,4,4,8,8,8,8,16
Shirt size: 0,0,0,0,0,1,1,1,1,1,2,2, 2,2,4,4,4,4,8,8,8,8,16

       At each doubling, every part of your child becomes larger, and all their shoes, trousers, shirts, T-shirts etc. must be replaced simultaneously.   

       If you can control the process in a more finely grained way, you can spread the financial load over a longer period:   

       Shoe size: 0,0,0,1,1,1,1,1,2,2, 2,2,4,4,4,4,8,8,8,8,16,16,16
Trouser size: 0,0,0,0,0,1,1,1,1,1,2,2, 2,2,4,4,4,4,8,8,8,8,16
Shirt size: 0,0,0,0,1,1,1,1,1,2,2, 2,2,4,4,4,4,8,8,8,8,16,16

       The total cost of new clothes is the same - six new pairs of shoes, six new pairs of trousers, and six new shirts. However at each step, only one item of clothing needs replacing, and you only need to visit one clothes shop at a time. Easier on both the wallet and the feet!
Wrongfellow, Oct 18 2008


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