Once relegated to the back pages of comic books, the ever-embarrassing Whoopee Cushion is finding a worldwide market on the Web from mainline retailers such as Walgreens. Indeed, the array of Whoopees is becoming increasingly sophisticated with the development of the automatically self-inflating Whoopee Cushion and the Radio Controlled Cushion. “Just press the button on the wireless remote from up to 50 feet away and you have just embarassed your victim,” explains Shop.com. While Whoopee Cushions may seem like harmless gag gifts for kids of all ages, there is apparently a dark side to the device that might inspire a call for stricter regulation. In Sydney, Australia, an improvised inflatable device (IID) became a weapon of mass transit distraction when a bus driver heard a suspicious sound coming from the back of his bus. “But he refused to let his imagination run wild, despite the recent terror bombings targeting London buses and underground trains,” explained The Sydney Morning Herald. “Instead, he calmly went to investigate and found the source of the ‘pops’ was not some kind of evil explosive device or bomb timing mechanism, but a ‘whoopee cushion-style toy.’” After completing his route, the driver took the device to the police, who praised his vigilance. "We’re asking people to remain alert, not alarmed,” a police spokesman said. In the event of restrictions on Whoopee Cushion sales, gagsters should be pleased to know that many alternatives exist, including the Fart Machine, Fart Gum, Fart Powder, Squirt Toilet Seat, Krapalot Sugar, Fart Whistle and Crapalot Teabag.
—Posted by Richard Williamson