Aug. 7, 2013 at 3:15 PM ET
File this under: the end of all humanity. A clever new gadget called the Kitchen Safe is cashing in on our rampantly gluttonous ways.
The Kitchen Safe is a see-through, hard plastic container with a battery-operated time lock on it, for those of us with absolutely no self-control (or, it would appear, a hammer).
Just put your cookies or keys or credit cards or whatever else you can’t say “no” to inside and set the timer for anywhere from one minute to 10 days. You have a five-second grace period once you set it to change your mind. After that, no matter what you do, the bin—and the treats inside—will stay on lockdown until the timer reaches zero. Oh, and if it runs out of juice while the timer is counting down? It still won’t open. You’ll have to go out and buy a new battery and install it, at which point the timer will continue its countdown. So, removing the battery to cheat the system could actually result in an even longer wait for your goodies.
Wouldn’t it be easier to just not buy the junk food to begin with? After all, you’re only delaying the inevitable. Chances are, you’ll still be putting the same amount of calories into your mouth—only a few hours or days later than you expected. And since the bucket is see-through, you may end up gazing lustfully at your Oreos or Krispy Kremes for hours at a time, working up a colossal craving. And we all know what happens when our yearnings go ignored for too long: a massive, no-holds-barred binge.
But maybe it’s great for kids, you’re thinking. Sure, if you want to send them the message that it’s okay to disobey mom and dad. Because, really, shouldn’t a stern warning and the threat of punishment be enough?
If it weren’t made of breakable plastic, I might think that this contraption is a great way to prevent problem drinkers from getting behind the wheel while sloshed. But anyone headstrong and foolhardy enough to demand their keys while drunk will also smash this thing to pieces in all of two seconds.
Still, I don’t think the Kitchen Safe is completely without merit. Maybe you could tell your boss you missed her email because your husband accidentally locked your Blackberry in it. Or, gee, guys, I would love to share my beloved cronuts with you, but I have them locked up in this here gizmo so my roommate won’t eat them. Guess you’ll have to wait in line for eight hours to buy your own. Or, if your boyfriend bought it for you because he thinks you eat too many sweets, why not put his smart phone and video games in there instead?
Who would have thought one gadget would provide so many ways to help us be weaker or more conniving people?
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.