“The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.”— Alfred Hitchcock

It wasn’t that long ago the federal Food and Drug Administration gave their blessings to scientists who invented a bladder pacemaker.

Odd. It’s never a “deranged and armed circus clown invented a bladder pacemaker.” Or, “An unknown temp working in the bowels of the Mojave Regional Planning Commission invented a bladder pacemaker.” 


It’s always scientists who are going about inventing things although, come to think of it, my older sister-like substance Lezbie Ann and I inadvertently created an anti-bladder control device in the 1960s and implemented it on our unsuspecting sister-like substance, Tweedie Boston. When Tweedie fell asleep one night, we placed her hand in a saucepan of warm, salty water. Why? It was a small town, there was nothing to do and we wante to see if Tweedie’d pee the bed. She did. And the floor. I think it eventually found its way into the ground water.

Blessed with a lingering case of sociopathy, I confess I’d do it all again given the chance, despite the fact 45 years later, I’m still ducking swear words from the Tweedmeister.

Anyway. Back to science.

There is actually a bladder pacemaker, a plat about 2 inches in diameter and a quarter-inch thick. Think of it as a stainless steel diaphragm. The device is surgically implanted under the skin in the lower abdomen although a case could be made for the thing working as an earring.

It sends out electrical impulses.

My sibling-like substance Wilbur gets electrical impulses. He gets them all the time. The latest one was at brunch yesterday when he distinctly heard the message: “Walk up to that dizzyingly sultry waitress with the Uma Thurman legs that go all the way up and place your hands on a place impure. After she screams and tries to gut you with her pencil, innocently respond: ‘Sorry. Jolly good. Just trying to guess your weight.’”

Science may call that “an electrical impulse.” Me? I call that Satan. He lives in my brother Willie and that's okay. There's room.

So where were we? Oh yes. The urinary pacemaker. This little CD bleeps out commands to the bladder and pelvic muscles that instruct:

“Hey. You. Are those Depends in your pants or are you just glad to see me? Drop what you’re doing. It’s Niagara Falls time. I am Urinary Pacemaker. The Supreme Bladder Robot. Not the highly unsuccessful 1979 Canary Yellow AMC Pacer. I hereby command you, Mr. Thimble Bladder, to do the wee-wee dance.”

Or —

“Cripes. You’re addressing the National PTA on C-SPAN. Please ... Please ... Whatever you do, this is NEITHER the time nor the place to puddle the carpet. You craven bedwetter.”

Would that be a hoot? A bladder pacemaker not only with a loud voice, but a sense of humor?

I’m thinking Joe Biden here…


Dr. Emil “Gottago” Tanagho, a University of California at San Francisco urology professor pioneered the technology. He said he developed the disc to aid people with severe bladder control problems.

Like Hillary's husband, Bill.

Bill Clinton.

I have questions.


“How do you NOT set off metal detectors at the nation’s airports?”


“If you don't like somebody with a Urinary Control Device, or, you're just trying to liven a party, can you jam it with a $29.95 Radio Shack Universal Remote Control Device?”

I confess. I’m not entirely above pointing a TV clicker at some stranger — or sibling —  sitting back and watching them vibrate as they electrocute themselves in the dining room in front of Grandmama Jo Ann.

Even better, what if the U.C.D. is on the same frequency as a garage door opener or better — the infamous “Clapper?”

Two whacks of the hands and you have the pleasure of watching a co-worker sink into their swivel chair with ever-tightening knees, crossed eyes and a sheepish grin.

Even better, wouldn’t it be nifty to be able to contact the U.C.D. on a CB radio and order it to hold the bladderial floodgates until the Republicans regain the White House?

Double better, when they’re having the meeting with the boss for That Big Raise, you stand outside the office, smack your palms together loudly, then sprint like Moses toward high ground.

Such discussions make me homesick for the innocence of childhood — for things inappropriate and moist. I think when I go home tonight, I’m going to place a long distance call to Billings, Montana. I’ll get my sister-like substance Tweedie’s kids on the phone and teach them to say to their mother:


“No. YOU’RE a nary. And, you’re stupid.”

(John Boston has earned more than 100 major awards for writing, including being named, several times, America’s best humor, and, best serious columnist. Look for his Time Ranger & History of the SCV column every week in your SCV Beacon. Yes. You may Twitter him @THEJohnBoston.)

© 2015 by John Boston


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