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Have you ever heard of this crazy little thing called "Lovegety?" It is an electronic device designed to score you dates. The small, pager-sized device was introduced to fad-obsessed Japanese teenagers in Japan about two years ago.

Worn on the hip with a small key chain, the device projects your preferences into a crowd and alerts you to the presence of other people with Lovegetys set to the same preferences. When the Lovegety carrier comes within 30 feet of the other person, it starts beeping, alerting the two people of potential love. Call it a $25 electronic Cupid.

It has become incredibly popular in Japan, where millions of units have been sold. A spin-off of Lovegety is slated for release in the United States. Targeted toward gay markets in San Francisco and New York, the "Gaydar," as it is called, will be released in the next few months, according to CNN.

The idea behind Gaydar is that it would help gay people meet in predominantly straight places. The makers of Gaydar say the device could help people just out of the closet who do not feel comfortable in the gay bar or club scene, and want to meet people in different places without pressure. It would also help distinguish gay people in a straight crowd.

However, one UC Berkeley student said that such a device is not necessary.

"I have no need for a high-tech sissy beeper - I can smell a cute gay man from a mile away, which is probably outside the auditory range," said Duy Nguyen.

One concern raised by critics was that if gay-bashers were to get a hold of a Gaydar, they could walk around bashing people who beep. But I'm pretty skeptical of the possibility of a gay-basher walking around with a Gaydar hanging from his belt.

Not only that, but I imagine the basher would also feel very uncomfortable buying the Gaydar in the first place.

Possible scenario:

Cashier: Oh, you're buying a Gaydar, these things are great.


Basher: Uh, it's not for me...


Cashier: Is it for your boyfriend?


Basher: No, I just want it to-


Cashier: Geez, there's something wrong with the scanner...


(Cashier gets on the microphone)


Cashier: Norm, can we get a price check on the Gaydar? I need a price check on the Gaydar on checkstand 12 ... Norm?


Basher: Uh, that's okay, I don't want it anymore.


(Basher runs away)

I think the problem with all these electronic gadgets does not have to do with bashers, but with meeting dozens and dozens of ugly people. What happens if your Lovegety or Gaydar goes off and the preferences are a perfect match, but the person looks like Sasquatch? What are you supposed to do? "Uh, sorry, but I prefer to date women without moustaches." These gadgets could make dating even more painful. On the other hand, if you are Sasquatch, buy one of these things right away.

Personally, I think the makers of Gaydar and Lovegety will sell a lot more units if they allow users to customize their own settings. Think of the possibilities:

Set it to fellatio - Any prospective partner who you pass on the street who also has an affinity for fellatio can know right away. Many potential embarrassing situations in the bedroom can be avoided this way.

Set it to butt tickling - feathers, etc.

Set it to fruits and vegetables - From A to Z (asparagus to zucchini).

Set it to water sports - including water-skiing, a la Waylon Smithers.

You should be able to set the device to "celebrity mode" that would allow you to combine different preferences:

Set it to Marv Albert - sodomy and back-biting while wearing women's underwear.

Set it to Bill Clinton - cigar tricks. ("It tastes good.")

Set it to Martha Stewart - awkward, bumpy, white-lady sex. (This is just a guess, she's probably an animal in bed).

Set it to Jean-Claude Van Damme - see fruits and vegetables.

(UC Berkeley student Greg Laderman said that while he was working at Vicente Foods in Brentwood as a bagboy, Van Damme and his wife came in one day. They bought a cucumber and K-Y Jelly and made a beeline to the bathroom and emerged 15 minutes later. The used cucumber was recovered from the garbage can by store employees. The couple has since divorced. On a side note, Laderman said he has grown quite fond of salad. Clinton says, "It tastes good.")

Some critics in Japan have said that the Lovegety is spreading promiscuity and that it is much better to meet people naturally. The makers of the electronic devices, however, insist that the toys are just a way of meeting new people and breaking the ice - the rest is up to you.

Whatever the case may be, these new gadgets will certainly help ugly people meet. This is good because it will definitely help cut down on public consumption of alcohol, which, as we all know, is the real Lovegety.

Set it and forget it!

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