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Gov't Waste: Michigan Using Tax Dollars to Fight Drunk Driving With -- 'Interactive Urinal Communicators'?


"...using disembodied voices to address drunk men from urinals sounds like an exceptionally bad idea."

In preparation for what they expect to be a rowdy, booze-fueled Fourth of July holiday, the Michigan State Police's Office of Highway Safety Planning is distributing 400 “Interactive Urinal Communicators” that warn patrons about drunk driving to restaurants and bars in four different counties (Wayne, Bay, Ottawa and Delta).

What's an "Interactive Urinal Communicators?" Simply put, it's a urinal cake that talks. Yes. A talking urinal cake.

(Office of Highway Safety Planning)

“Four hundred of the cakes will be distributed to 200 eateries prior to July Fourth,” said Anne Readette, spokeswoman for the state’s Office of Highway Safety Planning.

"We're doing this to draw attention to Fourth of July drunk driving enforcement," she added. "We want people to be safe and make responsible decisions."

The company distributing the talking cakes, Wizmark [we see what you did there], proudly touts the fact that it's the only one in the "interactive urinal cake" business. Shocker.

So what do the female-voiced [yeesh...] “Interactive Urinal Communicators” say when they’re, um, activated [by motion!] by a restaurant/bar patron?

Listen up. That’s right, I’m talking to you. Had a few drinks? Maybe a few too many? Then do yourself and everyone else a favor: Call a sober friend or a cab. Oh, and don’t forget to wash your hands.

We’re going to be honest here: using a urinal and a disembodied voice to get a drunk guy's attention sounds like a recipe for disaster -- especially for anyone unfortunate enough to be near him when it happens.

“The cakes run about $21 each, last for about three months,” writes The Detroit News' Tom Greenwodd, “with the tab picked up by federal traffic safety funds [emphasis added].”

Wait -- the feds spent about $8,400 on talking urinal cakes? Man, we’ve heard of government waste, but we've never thought it'd be used to subsidize human waste.

Front page photo source: Wizmark. This story has been updated.

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