Defense Cloud

During an event the other night, I had a brief olfactory encounter with a waterless urinal.
While I know that waterless urinals are environmentally fantastic – they save literally tens of thousands of gallons of water a year – I also think that they can smell extraordinarily bad.
The instant you put one to use, in other words, you're made instantly aware of all the people who have been there before.
In fact, the experience made me wonder if you could prevent burglary by making houses smell like that: no one, not even a burglar, would come near.

If you could make your house smell like urine, in other words, all your possessions would be permanently safe...
So I was thinking, specifically, that you should attach some kind of scent-emission device to your home burglar alarm – or above the windows and beside the front doorway – before you go away for the weekend. You then just have to choose what scent will be emitted; you type in your PIN; and you go.
Because then, if someone actually does break into your house... an invisible puff of scented air – a defense cloud™ – goes misting out into the hallway, settling down onto your erstwhile burglar – who thus finds himself greeted with an alarmingly strong scent of urine. The scent gets worse by the minute, and seems to be coming from all sides.
What is this place...? the burglar thinks. Do they manufacture waterless urinals here? He recoils in horror.
But should the determined home invader persist in his folly, the scent-alarm simply kicks it up a notch, through different aromas, making everything that much worse – moldy potatoes, rotten chicken parts, gangrenous limbs and human corpses – till only someone without a nose, or a true sociopath, could even contemplate sticking around.
In which case your scent-alarm phones the police.
Only a few unfortunate customers have reported product malfunction.
A scented car alarm is now in development.

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7 Comments:

Blogger peter hoh said...

Certain retailers have found that playing certain kinds of music can repel young loiterers, so why not branch out into the other senses?

May 24, 2007 5:02 PM  
Blogger anonuser said...

Does it really smell that bad?

May 24, 2007 7:44 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Well, it's not that bad, but it can be really bad.

Peter, smell-deterrence can only be a few short years of R&D away...

May 24, 2007 9:48 PM  
Blogger Y.E. Vulva said...

so cat burglars turn to frog men for help?

May 24, 2007 11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Through my work in the science of chemistry I can certainly vouch for a certain number of chemicals that can make your stomach churn, butyric acid for one or anything containing sulphur. All of which could be used as a chemical deterent to burglars. The only unfortunate side effect being the lingering smell about your home for days, if not weeks.
The other major problem with this idea though is that all the burglars would just go out and buy gas masks.
Now acid or nerve toxin, that might just work.

May 25, 2007 10:09 AM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Sounds like nerve toxin is the way to go.

May 25, 2007 1:02 PM  
Anonymous marty said...

...except when the low-levels nerve-toxin lingers... suddenly you arm goes limp inexplicably.

guess you'd need something to neutralize the remnant particles if the alarm went off.

May 25, 2007 2:20 PM  

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