N.M. orders 500 talking urinal cakes
By TIM KORTE, Associated Press Writer
RIO RANCHO, N.M. - New Mexico is hoping to keep drunks off the road by lecturing them at the last place they usually stop before getting behind the wheel: the urinal. The state recently paid $21 each for about 500 talking urinal-deodorizer cakes and has put them in men's rooms in bars and restaurants across the state.
When a man steps up, the motion-sensitive plastic device says, in a woman's voice that is flirty, then stern: "Hey, big guy. Having a few drinks? Think you had one too many? Then it's time to call a cab or call a sober friend for a ride home." The recorded message ends: "Remember, your future is in your hand."
Ok, first of all when a drunk guy hears a woman's flirtatious voice in the men's room I am thinking he's gonna whip around without thinking and then you've got a fun mess to clean up. However, I do think there is a touch of brilliance in addressing him as 'big guy' and telling him his future is in his hand while he is at the urinal. Then again, now the sot is all pumped up and does what...asks the urinal for her number maybe?
The talking urinal represents just the latest effort to fight drunken driving in New Mexico, which has long had one of the highest rates of alcohol-related traffic deaths in the nation. (The new tactic is aimed only at men, since they account for 78 percent of all driving-under-the-influence-related convictions in New Mexico.)
Well, that and there aren't a lot of women using urinals quite honestly...and I shudder to think of talking toilet seats in the ladies' room. Here's some wasted chick trying desperately to maintain the hover position and the seat talks to her while her pantyhose are down around her ankles. Lord have mercy...
"It startled me the first time I heard it, but it sure got my attention," said Ben Miller, a patron at the Turtle Mountain Brewing Co. bar and restaurant. "It's a fantastic idea." Jim Swatek, who was drinking a beer nearby, said: "You think, `Maybe I should call the wife to come get me.'"
Talking porcelain would, at the very least, make me wonder if I'd had one too many...
Turtle Mountain Brewing owner Niko Ortiz commended the New Mexico Transportation Department for "thinking way outside the box." Department spokesman S.U. Mahesh said the bathroom is a perfect place to get the message across. In the restroom, "guys don't chitchat with other guys," he said. "It's all business. We've got their total attention for 10 to 15 seconds."
George Michael notwithstanding...
Similar urinal cakes have been used for anti-drug campaigns in Colorado, Pennsylvania and Australia, and for anti-DWI efforts on New York's Long Island, said Richard Deutsch of New York-based Healthquest Technologies Inc., which manufactures the devices. But Deutsch said he believes New Mexico is the only state to buy the devices.
Evidence of New Mexicans having a sense of humor or more government waste?
At the Turtle Mountain, the urinal cakes have proved so intriguing that three have been swiped already. "I'm mystified why someone would stick their hand into one of our urinals," Ortiz said. "But I'm sure we'll see them on eBay. Hopefully, the seller will advertise it as, `Stolen from Turtle Mountain.'"
You're mystified?? Really? We are talking about drunk people here, right? Nothing should mystify you.