Ladders: where would we be without them? Could we, for instance, ascend to rooftops? Yes, if there are stairs available, but if there were no stairs? Then, my friends, you would need a ladder.
A ladder is a form of inclined plane, one of the six "simple machines", which also include the lever, wedge, and I think also some kind of wooden robot. But an inclined plane on its own is simply a flat surface that raises up -- or inclines -- from the ground to a higher surface. So it's really kind of a piece of shit. On the other hand, ladders add steps to the idea, which means you can just walk right up, easy as you please, without having to worry about a damn thing, other than slipping and falling. That's why you must remember to hold on with your hands to the sides of the ladder. Always use your hands when laddering.
I don't know when ladders were invited, or who invented them -- no one does. These facts are lost in the mists of history. One thing we do know is that whoever made the first ladder is one of mankinds great heroes, because without him or her (oh, who are we kidding? It was a "him") we would all still be living on the ground, or even lower. Grass huts would be a luxury, and the idea of building a larger house out of wood or -- God forbid -- iron would be considered madness. How, we would argue, could one expect to wash those windows way up there at the top? What, do you intend to grow wings, Jededaiah (Jededaiah is the guy with the "big house" idea)?? Or what about all those leaves that fall on the ground in Autumn? You realize, don't you, that those leaves are going to end up on your roof? Who's going to clean them off?? You?? What, do you intend to grow wings??
As illustrated above, if ladders had not been invented when they were -- whenever that was -- they probably never would have been, and as time went on, no one would be able to imagine performing the kinds of tasks we now normally associate with ladder-use without the benifit of wings. That's how bad things would have gotten. And it probably would have gotten to the point where Jededaiah would go, "Yeah, that's right, dickface, I'm gonna grow wings!" And then he'd probably make a pair of wings out of grass and wood, and stand there in front of his giant iron house, flapping these ridiculous monstrosities, so he could fly up to his roof and rake off the leaves. I don't even like to think where things would have gone from there. We probably would have had a war, or something. All for the want of a ladder.
Thank you, Stanley Ladder, or whoever it was, for inventing this wonderous device. I know that I can't walk through a Home Depot without marveling at the glory of the world you have wrought. Indeed, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to learn that Stanley Ladder's inspiration stemmed from his desire to reach closer to Heaven, not in the next life -- no! -- but in this one. To bask in the light of eternity while still he drew earthly breath. To use his corporeal strength and ingenuity to celebrate his Creator, by reaching out his hands to Him. So when you think about the fact that the tallest ladder we have nowadays is something like thirty feet high, it becomes pretty clear that Stanley Ladder had no idea what he was doing. Who thinks Heaven is only thirty feet above ground? Airplanes fly higher than that! But whatever, they say potato chips were invented by accident, too.