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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Kickstarter to Give You the Sadz: the Buddy Bottle

Posted By on Wed, Aug 12, 2015 at 12:30 PM

These will all kill you! - QUIETMIKE.ORG
  • These will all kill you!

Today in things that make us despair: the Buddy Bottle, “the first Multi-User water bottle.” It’s a crowdfunding campaign that seeks to develop and market a water bottle with two chambers and spouts, so that people may share their water without feeling like they’re going to catch someone else’s cooties.

The video uses soiled children as an example, and it’s definitely marketed to anxious adults who want every surface to be antiseptic, perhaps in preparation for the post-antibiotic future. Buddy Bottle may be perfect for germophobes whose anxiety centers on water bottles — but it’s definitely not for hydrophobes, because hydrophobia is rabies. Still, I wish this product were called “Dot Dot Circle Dot.”

I feel a little bad kicking dirt on someone’s dream, especially when her nervousness is palpable as she narrates the video. But remember when Kickstarter was a forum for communitarianism, for sharing what we’ve got with people who need some money to make the world better? Well, some people don’t want their altruism contaminated by your gross germs, apparently. And no, you should not ask to borrow my disease-ridden phone, either.

I must admit that I’m flummoxed by Buddy Bottle's premise. Is backwash really a threat? I speak for no one but my own childless self, but I’m pretty sure that when I take a drink of water, only a negligible amount winds up anywhere but down my throat. I’ve got my musculature pretty well trained by this point, and I'm also schooled enough in social graces not to borrow personal items from people when I've got the sniffles.

More importantly, when sharing water, doesn’t making clear your distrust of a dear friend’s personal hygiene undermine the gesture in some way? It kinda reminds of the time that George W. Bush was in Haiti after the earthquake, helping to rebuild a shattered country, and after shaking hands with a Haitian who may have just lost everything, Bush wiped his hand on Bill Clinton. One’s generosity of spirit only goes so far, even between Buddies.

Also, in spite of slightly different spouts, the Buddy Bottle looks symmetrical. Drink out of it, pass it to your thirsty friend with the highly communicable bacterial infection, put it down for a second — oh shit! Which side was which again?

How is this less stressful than carrying two bottles of water?

Oh, well. Seven people have backed it so far. Bon chance, Kickstarter!

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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


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