The Final Word
By Jeff Girod
“We speculate that in the future, urine-powered EcoBots could perform environmental monitoring tasks such as measuring temperature, humidity and air quality,” said Peter Walters, number-one science “whiz” and the guy stealing all the bedpans at the University of the West of England’s Centre for Fine Print Research.
“In the city environment, [Ecobots] could re-charge using urine from urinals in public lavatories,” Walters added, because public restrooms aren’t awkward enough without a robot waiting next to you with a silly straw.
In an earlier demonstration, Walters showed how urine had enough energy to power a cell phone. Memo to self: NEVER borrow Walters’ cell phone.
I’m all for advancements in technology. Anything that makes life easier: Sign me up. Seriously, grab a pen and sign me up because I’m way too lazy to sign up myself.
Someday my head will just stick out of a giant plushy beanbag, then every desire I imagine will be handled by an automatic pellet dispenser. (Technology will also exist to Photoshop out the plushy beanbag and pellet dispenser from vacation and match.com photos.)
But pissing into a robot? That’s taking science too far.
Flying cars. Yes. Jet packs. Absolutely. Time machines. Wonderful. But never once have I considered, Hey you know what would be really great . . . if instead of this toilet, we could piss directly into a metal urinal with a torso and face.
Let’s call this what it really is: A bunch of sexually frustrated scientists trying to find an environmental justification for sticking their junk inside a robot. “It’s saving the planet!” Sure, it is Mr. Wizard. But why is the robot wearing a blonde wig, lipstick and a cheerleader’s costume?
And when did urine become an energy wonder cure? Did the sun explode and we run out of solar power?
I get that we all do it. But one of the first successful inventions man ever made was designating a separate place to pee and poop. Because peeing and pooping are gross. And it didn’t take a Nobel scientist to “discover” that groundbreaking data in my underwear.
I’m all for saving the environment. But do we literally have to recycle everything? I’m OK with messing up a few raccoons or wombats if we can keep the urine arrangement exactly the way it is now.
As a civilized society, we’ll have three rules: We won’t bomb each other with nuclear arms, we won’t harm children and we won’t buy anything from Radio Shack with a sticker that says, “Now with Urine!”
I already feel guilty every time I throw a bottle in the trash. I don’t need someone from Greenpeace looking over my shoulder whenever I whip it out to pee: “Nuh uh uh, stick it in the robot.”
You want a better invention? Make it so we stop peeing all together. Or instead of urine, we piss out Diet Coke or new iPads. I know that sounds impossible. But this is the future, baby. Anything’s possible.
And that’s kind of my point: Anything should be possible. Reach for the stars. I want to fly. I want to be invisible. I want Morgan Freeman and Vin Scully to live forever, and fly with me invisibly. Every one of those goals should be on a chalkboard somewhere in a lab at Harvard, Cambridge or MIT.
So why are we wasting our time on piss-powered EcoBots? Good god. That sounds like a bad Saturday morning cartoon. It’s like giving your kid the world’s most disappointing Transformer toy that transforms into a toilet scrubber.
Aim higher. Or just aim anywhere but right here. Somebody who’s perfected an invention about urinating should know about aim.
You know what an EcoBot is? It’s something you accidentally come up with while trying to invent something 10 times more meaningful.
“Well, we didn’t crack the secret code to entering the fourth dimension. But on the plus side, here’s a wacky robot that will run all day on yellow stuff. Let’s wind it up right now. Who has to go?”
I’ll tell you who. This guy.
Contact Jeff Girod at firstname.lastname@example.org