Great Invention Idea? Pee for Fun and Prizes with the Urinator!
Years ago, when my niece, my sister's first born, was only a toddler and I was at a loss for a baby gift, my sister asked me to buy my niece, and goddaughter, her first potty. However, as is the fashion these days the potty couldn't be just an ordinary potty. That is, the potty had to somehow be more than a receptacle for both baby waste and indoctrination. This potty, baby's first ever, had to be special. I therefore found, with a lot of help from my sister, a potty designed to play a tune every time baby hit the intended target: the inside of the bowl. For years that potty, and its innocent reward system, has haunted me. Why is it that adults don't have anything besides toilet paper to remind us how grand it is to take part in adult civilized society? Well, we do now.
United States patent number 6385796 is designed to reconcile Freudian concerns with those of the stock market. That's because this self-flushing urinal comes equipped with a gaming and reward system that provides prizes for, "the attainment of certain amounts of a customer urine output coordinated with appropriate accuracy." Not unlike a visit to a casino, a customer drinks up at an establishment, excuses himself, goes to the bathroom, slips a coin into the toilet (where appropriate), then let's her rip! The more a customer relieves himself in a single visit, the bigger the prize! (Literally!) The prizes can be supplied by outside vendors creating another wealth stream (I can't help myself) for the host establishment besides the coins collected from overzealous gamers.
It is the typical patent as microcosm of an American phenomenon story. A place that used to be off-limits by its very nature is now fair game for both competition and consumption. Pretty soon none of us will need to go to the mall; we'll just need to drink and eat ourselves silly to get our shopping fix. All the while using the crap that comes out of the urinal, not the crap that goes in, to remind ourselves how great it is to be big and wear big people underpants. Imagine what it will be like to emerge from the bathroom carrying the best prize dispensed by the toilet? Think of what that will do for your self-esteem and the proprietor's reputation as a place where dreams really do come true! The whole thing is so simple I can't believe the boys on Madison Avenue didn't come up with the idea themselves years ago, around the time I bought that musical potty!