The brains at Flinders University in Australia should know that Paul Gardner-Stephen, one of their systems administrators, has too much time on his hands. And his feet.
Asked to help a theater production of "Get Smart," a TV show that last became a movie starring Steve Carell, Mr. Gardner-Stephen created a shoe that is also a cell phone.
Here's the thing: it actually works. And now he's thinking of selling it online. The shoephone has a cell phone handset in one heel and a Bluetooth headset in the other.
Mr. Gardner-Stephen told the Telegraph: "The phone rings, you slip off the shoe, then you open the heel, press the button, and you're talking in around the same time it would take to fumble in a bag and pull one out."
This is all delightful, splendid, and dandy. Amusing, even. It's just that there is one mere tiny drawback: using this device must be like kissing a sewage plant worker with halitosis. Did this not cross Mr. Gardner-Stephen's mind? Surely, the shoephone is the most unhygienic idea since bank robbers put dirty tights over their heads.
The world's sidewalks are covered in chewing gum, condoms (mainly used), spittle from most of the world's nations, nasal mucus, bits of croissant, ice cream, Whopper, and $5 foot-long. And Mr. Gardner-Stephen is suggesting that when the phone rings, we take off our shoe and shove it next to perhaps our most sensitive orifice?
This is not a cell phone. It's a smell phone.
The great inventor is undeterred: "I've had a couple of bemused looks. But I walked several hundred meters outside, talking into the shoe, and no one really paid much attention."
Of course they didn't. They were too busy bending over bushes and losing their $5 foot-longs.
Even if one could somehow deal with the smell, there's another drawback to consider: will AT&T charge you for roaming every time you go for a walk?
Oh, science. It still needs work, doesn't it?