App would help save the soused
Aug. 18, 2014
by Ivan Raconteur

Let’s face it. Despite their best intentions (or perhaps because of them) there are times when people end up slightly sozzled.

When this occurs, they may become disoriented, which can be a nuisance for themselves and those whose duty it is to rescue them.

I was reminded of this recently when an acquaintance (we’ll call him William) shared the saga of his mission to pick up a mutual friend.

William and his wife were in the Twin Cities for a couple days on a visit.

They were staying with this mutual friend (we’ll call him Bubba). They had some things they wanted to do, and during the course of the weekend, Bubba, who has a discriminating palate and an insatiable thirst, wanted to take some time out to attend a beer festival.

The group agreed to drop Bubba off, and pick him up later so they could all continue their weekend of fun together.

Well, Bubba is a fine man and a responsible citizen. But, left to his own devices among all those delicious craft beers, and knowing that he had a sober cab to pick him up afterward, well, let’s just say he took full advantage of the situation.

After a few hours in Nirvana, he may not have been quite three sheets to the wind, but by all accounts he was more than partially pickled.

At the appointed hour, William called Bubba on his mobile to arrange the pickup.

“Hello!” Bubba answered the phone cheerfully. He is always a good-natured fellow, and never more so than when he is into his pints.

“We’re on our way to pick you up,” William said. “Where are you?”

Bubba considered this for a moment.

“I’m at the state fairgrounds,” he replied, slurring slightly.

“Yes, I know that, but specifically where are you?” William pressed.

“I’ve been drinking,” Bubba confided, clearing up any confusion on that point.

“I realize that,” William sighed. “But where are you?”

Bubba looked around curiously.

“I’m at the state fairgrounds. There’s a beer festival going on,” Bubba slurred, explaining.

This conversation went on for some time, resulting in elevated levels of frustration for William. Bubba was cooperative, but not very helpful.

Eventually, through some astute detective work, they determined that Bubba was near the main gate. They caught sight of him, then nearly lost him again when he remembered he had left his bag at the last tasting booth, but a quick sprint through the crowd allowed William to herd Bubba back to the car to resume their weekend of fun.

This story, and others like it, convinced me of the need for a smartphone app to take the unpleasantness and confusion out of these situations.

I am thinking of calling it The Drunkfinder.

The concept will be similar to those tracking devices they use for hikers and skiers in wilderness areas.

It would work by locking the subject’s phone ID into the sober cab operator’s phone.

Using GPS technology, it would allow the seeker to find the subject, even if, due to being slightly sloshed or partially plastered, the subject is unable to clearly articulate his exact location.

The responsible party would simply locate the subject on the screen of his smart phone, and he could go directly to his location without a lot of confusing dialog.

It would be good for both the drinker and the driver.

There are plenty of apps out there that keep track of our location. The Drunkfinder would simply be tailored to make it easy for us to find blitzed buddies in a crowd.

Our friends may not always know where they are, but with The Drunkfinder, we would always have access to that information.

The flaw in this plan, if there is one, is that inebriated individuals have been know to lose their cell phones, as well as themselves.

We could overcome this, for a small additional cost, by issuing a tracking bracelet that the sober cab operator would lock onto the subject’s wrist so that he (or she) couldn’t accidently lose it.

The Drunkfinder is another example of how people may cause problems, but technology, when used correctly, can solve them.

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