Effect Measure


When I read about this Japanese robot designed to clean urinals that was made to look like a stylized elephant I was reminded of a joke. First the robot, then the joke.

Here’s a pic of the robot followed by a machine translation of the Japanese Press Release (courtesy 3Yen, hat tip Boingboing):


The “DCBA” men’s room cleaning robot

Robot.Watch, Impress.co.jp 2008 April 22 (edited translation)–On April 17, 2008, MERTEC Company unveiled a urinal cleaning robot, the “DCBA” in Kobe Airport terminal….

…Mr. Susumu Kanai was in charge of the design of the DCBA. He said that, ” I imaged a powerful reversal of the urinal drain would be like an elephant and used this as the theme. Following that reversal theme, the robot’s brand name “DCBA” [pronounced “DaSuBiEh”] is the reversal of the letters “ABCD.”

Mr. Mr. Kanai explained, “To express performing things in sequence in Japanese is commonly referred to as doing something “ABC” — I thought it would be a good idea for the logo to be the mirror reversal of ABCD….

Ok, it is hard to imagine how shoving and wrestling the 100kg DCBA robot into position would be a savings in labor. In the top photo, the DCBA robot dwarfs the operator girl. However, the company claims the machine cleans one urinal in 10 seconds and saves eight liters of water in the process. The robots are intended for the cleaning operations of large institutions including highway rest areas and public restrooms of railroads. The selling price will be 1 million yen (about $9,700 USD). (machine translation of Press Release)

The joke? A man works for the circus giving enemas to the elephant. He uses a ladder to get up to his working level at the animal’s rear, administers fifty gallons of water rectally with a hose which is almost immediately expelled by the elephant, drenching him.

Because he cannot get rid of the smell, he has no friends. No one comes near him. One day, after work, drowning his sorrows in a local bar at one of the circus stops, a bartender gets up the nerve to ask him why he smells so bad.

“It’s my job. I give enemas to the elephants at the circus.”

“What a terrible job,” says the bartender. “Why don’t you quit?”

“What!?” the man says in horror. “And give up show business?”

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