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Fear and Loafing in Las Vegas: 5 things we saw at CES that make us want to return to the Iron Age

Ah, early January. There’s a nip in the air, new quotas for your sales team to miss, and – for the 52nd consecutive year – the debut of thousands of new tech products, mostly from companies that will be bankrupt within six months, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

After 72 hours on the floor of technology’s largest annual conference this week, we can say one thing with confidence: the Unabomber may have been onto something. Indeed, 2019 may be the year that technology went too far.

Here are 5 shocking product reveals from CES that will make you yearn for simpler times, long before vacuum cleaners were invented, drove themselves, and sold your floor plan data to the highest bidder.


Bose Cacophony™ Noise-Intensifying Headphones

Do you ever find yourself lounging beside a babbling brook, devoid of worry, humming softly to yourself and thinking, “this could use an injection of 165 hammer-and-anvil-shattering decibels”?

In a world that some feel is plagued by melatonin-dosed sheep gently hopping over pasture fences, the Bose Cacophony promises to intensify surrounding ambient noises to levels that airline tarmac workers consider “a security risk.” An easy-to-use turn dial allows users to choose from one of many of the Cacophony’s signature discord modes including Boston Rush Hour, Harpsichord in Tornado, and the Consumer Reports favorite, Last Chopper Out of Saigon.

Oh, does this make us want to go back to a time when we sacrificed vestal virgins to ensure bountiful harvests.

Price: $1,499.99.


Red Lobster Pesca 3.0

If you thought Red Lobster could do little to improve upon earlier versions of their voice assistant, which included dual-tartar sauce cannons and a shrimp scampi odor emission chamber, think again. Should they have improved upon the already-terrifying Pesca is another question.

Pesca 3.0 includes a functioning set of human-like arms capable of cracking open and serving King Crab. Sweet Lord, take me back to 492 BC when the city of Athens was razed by Persians, who at least had the dignity to crack their own lobster tails.

Price: $899.99. Tartar sauce sold separately.


Keurig French Vanilla Dialysis Machine

The good news: the system costs only $10,999.78 and was the highest-rated dialysis machine from a coffee company at CES this year.

The bad news: it’s huge, and if you use it to flush toxins from your body, you will die an extremely painful death, which some would argue defeats the purpose of having the machine in the first place.

You gotta be kidney-ing me.

Price: $10,999.78. Comically large K-cups sold separately.


iRobot Triple-Decker Roomba

What’s better that one Roomba? Three. Or at least, that’s what the geniuses at iRobot seem to think. The new Triple-Decker Roomba fits under almost no coffee tables, still misses every single corner of your house, and boasts a battery life of 8 whole minutes.

We also hear that a number of cats have gone missing around iRobot headquarters in Burlington, Massachusetts, with nary a coyote nearby.

Sweet God Almighty, take me back to the year 322 BC, when Alexander the Great wept for there were no more worlds to conquer. Too bad he never heard of Tijuana.

Price: Five times that of a single Roomba, for some reason.


Dell’s Latitude C500

Boasting a state of the art personal computer that isn’t exactly a desktop computer and isn’t exactly a cell phone, Dell’s newfangled “laptop” is sure to propel them to the forefront of 1997.

Price: Who gives a shit?