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Amid the snickering and, well, more snickering, surrounding Onterrio Smith's possession of a fake plastic penis designed to dupe drug tests, one key point is being ignored.
Athletes are duping drug testers with fake plastic penises.
Look, we can understand injecting THG, a sophisticated synthetic steroid designed to be undetectable. Ditto for using Human Grown Hormone, which requires an invasive, impractical blood test that leagues are loathe to employ. Even inexpensive masking agents presumably have a modicum of scientific know-how behind them.
But really breaking out the Whizzinator?
Strapping on a bogus organ?
Stuffing one's shorts with a glorified garden hose?
Disappointing. Very disappointing. Frankly, the whole concept seems low-tech and low-rent, like swapping the CGI-created alien armies of "Star Wars" for a couple hundred sweaty, suffocating extras in Hannibal Smith-worthy rubber lizard suits. Five years into the new millennium, and athletes still depend on pedestrian stage props to disguise their drug habits?
Clearly, we're in the throes of a silent national crisis.
Just as clearly, we can do better.
Ours is a nation that put a man on the moon, existing in a wired world that disseminates topless photos of Paris Hilton faster than you can say "hacked sidekick." Of course we can do better. We have the technology. The need is glaring. We simply must summon the will the old-fashioned, roll-up-your-sleeves kind of determination that produced both the Manhattan Project and not one but two Ben Affleck-Jennifer Lopez movies to tackle the task at hand.
Assuming, of course, we can wash said hands afterward.
To borrow from JFK: Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for Onterrio Smith.
After all, the Whizzinator is more than a musty, outdated product. It's a shot across our research-and-development bow, the Sputnik of our era. A national fake plastic penis crash program is in order. As is, the product is inelegant and prone to error, much like the genuine article following a dozen beers. Too much can go wrong.
For the sake of argument, suppose you're a running back for the Minnesota Vikings. Also for the sake of argument, suppose you really, really enjoy marijuana, so much so that you've flunked multiple previous drug tests going back to your college days.
Still, you love money. Football, too. You're not intrigued by Australian campgrounds or tribal medicine. You just want the Man off your back, out of your black-lit room and a safe distance from your extra-large bag of Fritos. So you decide to try the Whizzinator.
The official Whizzinator home page touts the device in reality, a fake plastic penis attached to a bladder pouch and adjustable jock strap as comfortable. The Web site also recommends cramming urine-warming heat packs in one's pants, which sounds decidedly uncomfortable, and a little too reminiscent of Lil' Jon:
Drug tester: Thanks for the sample. I see you've filled the cup.
Testee: That's not urine that's sweat! To the window! To the wall!