Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Urinal Cake 2.0

We’ve all been so obsessed with Web 2.0 lately, that most of us missed the introduction of “Urinal Cake 2.0″.

I swear to you this is true. The Associated Press put out a story last week about New Mexico’s efforts to stop drunk driving… by putting talking urinal cakes in men’s restrooms all over the state. (Ladies: This is one of those items unique to the men’s room, I’m afraid. You probably don’t want to know more.)

Dig this: Each of these high-tech little cakes has a 3-month battery… and automatically delivers a recorded anti-DWI message to each, uh, patron.

The story doesn’t say if this approach has been tested or not. I imagine there’s a “sweet spot” in a drunk’s evening where he just might appreciate hearing what a soggy urinal cake has to say. He might even take the advice to heart.

However, I’m also pretty sure that — just before that point of lucid-but-illegal inebriation — the drunk will be so delighted at discovering such a treasure, that most of these chatty cakes will be stolen the first night.

I’m dead sober right now, for example, and yet I can think of about two dozen ingenious ways to freak people out with a talking urinal cake… all outside of its normal habitat. (I can almost — almost – imagine it appearing in a direct mail campaign for… something. Not sure what.)

In fact, I may just take a road trip to Santa Fe to go get one. What a prize it would be, proudly perched on my office shelf next to all the other weird crap I’ve collected over the years. (Like my Homer Simpson dressed-as-Santa singing doll, and the big-schnozzled Tiki God tissue dispenser.)

But to finish my point… I’m also pretty sure that — just after having one too many — many other drunks will use the occasion of hearing a lecture coming up at them from the urinal to experience a mental breakdown. “Dude, I’m telling you the (hic) thing was TALKING to me! Must be UFO aliens, dude! We gotta get outa here, NOW. (Hic) Let’s take my car.”

If anyone’s reading this while cruising through New Mexico, don’t send me one of these technological marvels unless it’s brand spanking new, and you stole it fresh and dry out of the box it came in.

Key words there: “Fresh and dry.”

Okay, I’m done.

John Carlton, http://www.john-carlton.com

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