Sunday, September 04, 2005

PRETTY USELESS INVENTIONS : THE DIET DOG

With all the things we need in the world, clothes that don’t need ironing supermarket trolleys that travel forward, feta cheese containers that don’t shred your fingers as they shoot brine around the room, here’s something we apparently need a lot, a robot dog that helps you lose weight by monitoring your diet, exercise levels and giving a “verdict” on your health. It’s linked to a pedometer and bathroom scales with a PDA connected by Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to log every morsel that goes into your mouth and every step you take from fridge to couch.

Day One

DD (Diet Dog) : Arf, hello I’m your friendly diet dog, I’m here to help you lose weight and fit into that wedding dress you optimistically ordered a size too small.

OP (Obese Person) Great, make yourself at home.

DD :I don’t mean to intrude but is that a doughnut you’re eating?

OP : I’m hungry.

DD : If you don’t mind me saying so, that doughnut is not the best possible choice for someone wanting to control their weight. It will have a negligible effect on your hunger, but your blood sugar will rise to elevated levels before dropping precipitously, and the amount of fat will add to the adipose on your hips even as the cholesterol from the oil they use over and over clogs up the arteries of your heart.

Silence, munching.

OP : Stop looking at me like that, this is diet ice cream.

DD : I see that you are also drinking a toxic brown beverage that pushes 6 teaspoons of sugar and a tremendous jolt of carbonated caffeine into your body sending your heart rate up?

OP : So what, I’m thirsty, I don’t have anything else in the house, what do you want me to do?

DD : You haven’t moved in the last four hours except to roll over and reach for the remote control.

OP : Put a sock in it, ning nong, I’m tired.

DD : Take me for a walk, take me for a walk, take me for a walk.

Click, reboot.


Day Five

DD : What is that?

OP : It’s a cigarette, we smoke them.

DD : Keep that up, you stupid clot and you’re heading for a horrible lonely death, your lungs rotting in your chest, speaking through your neck to the few people left who can stand to be around you.

OP : Swear to God, I’m going to unplug you for good.

DD : Shall I call the dressmaker and have her let out the wedding dress? Or cancel the stupid garish wedding altogether, I mean that boyfriend of yours, got loser written all over him, shifty eyes, can’t trust them … his crotch smells as though he’s just come from Teazers.

Click.

In reality the dog doesn’t talk, it mirrors the person’s response, which is a fat lot of good (so to speak) :

If you have stuck to your daily calories, he will jump up and down, wag his tail, play vibrant music and flash the brightly coloured LEDs that pepper his 50 centimetre-tall plastic body. But if you have already had too many, he will move slowly and lethargically and play low-energy music.”

The robot dog doesn’t weld the fridge door shut, hide the remote control or chase the dieter around the house, it just hangs around looking lethargic, exactly like a teenager. Pretty damn useless if you ask me.

Now excuse me I have friggin ironing to do.

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