Do you lie awake at night tortured by visions of events in the Democratic Republic of Congo? Do you sit at home paralysed with the realisation that millions of Africans face starvation? No, exactly - you're down the pub like everyone else and then off for a full eight hours untroubled kip.
It's a sad fact that we world-weary Westerners, numbed by compassion fatigue and atrocity ennui really have lost touch with the misery and suffering which continues to characterise the crazy, mixed-up world we live in.
So, what if you were offered the chance to share in some small way the pain of those less fortunate than yourself, to receive a token electrical "guilt memo" each and every time a fellow human being is trampled on and abused?
Well, it would probably make you a more well-rounded human being. Failing that, you might at least feel reconnected with the planet. Consider, then, WiFi-SM, an innovative WiFi service offered by www.unbehagen.com.
The linguists among you will note that unbehagen = discomfort, and here's why:
WiFi-SM is an Internet connected wireless device that you can fix on any part of your body. It automatically detects the information from approximately 4,500 news sources worldwide updated continuously and analyses them looking for specific keywords such as death, kill, murder, torture, rape, war, virus etc.. Each time the text of the news contains one of these keywords, your WiFi-SM device is activated through the WiFi network and provides you with an electric impulse. This impulse is calibrated so that you can feel a certain amount of pain, but is completely safe.
This really is a case of technology serving humanity, to be sure. The company's website contains several testimonials as to the effectiveness of the product. Sales operator Mary enthuses: I've been using WiFi-SM for one month and it's amazing ! When somebody suffers on earth, not only I know it, but I can also feel a little bit of his/her pain. I don't feel guilty anymore and I can enjoy life without limitation. I love WiFi-SM ;-)
The possibilities of this technology seem endless. A quick brainstorm of the Vulture Central R&D team offered the following:
- WiFi-triggered mechanical claw which squeezes your wallet as the value of your shares collapses
- WiFi-triggered latex hand which massages your ego as the value of your shares skyrockets
- Automatic tie loosener operated by Bluetooth-enabled TV sets. Essential for off-duty adsales and marketing boys, since it allows uninterrupted drinking and shouting "Yeah!" in London wine bars while standing glued to the golf/rugby/football/darts/snooker/world speed embroidery championships.
- Cerebral implant activated by keywords "Twin Towers", "Hobbit" and "New Zealand", compelling Tolkein fans to stare wistfully at gold rings and utter profundities such as "The sky is red. There has been much killing this night..." You get the idea
- As above, enabling remote paralysis via PDA, mobile or internet of obstreperous teenagers, builders who fail to keep appointments, cold-calling telesales operatives, traffic wardens, IT technical support staff, etc., etc...
Our favourite is, however, an implanted cardiac device that instantly kills any Tory leader as soon as BBC news reports that 25 fellow party members have demanded that he exit stage right taking his whispering bald head with him. Food for thought.
A last-minute addition to the list comes courtesy of my wife who suggests that if she sends a text to my mobile, namely "UR DNNR IS IN DOG", I have two minutes to exit the local hostelry before WiFi-SM delivers a near fatal shock to my testicles. That's pretty tough, even by the high standards of the Democratic Republic of Congo.