Sometimes when a bunch of letters pour in suggesting that we are somewhat below average in intelligence as well as ugly as the nearest toad, we pine for a friend.
Luckily, two stories we read recently show there may soon be relief ahead for those of us who feel friend challenged (or amigo-less, as they say in Mexico).
One item detailed the birth of Rentafriend.com. Yup, if you're unable to gin up friends on your own, there is a website where you can go out and rent a friend on an hourly basis.
Yes, we know what you're thinking and, no, this is not an "escort service." This is supposedly a website where you can go out and rent someone to go out to dinner or to a movie with you. All without those pesky entanglements like having to remember names, birthdays, old times, etc.
Nope, you can just plunk down your $20 or $30 per hour and bore the devil out of a complete stranger.
The second story that caught our eye revealed that a Japanese company has invented a robot seal designed to keep the elderly company in nursing homes. Paro the robo-seal sells for around $6,000.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Paro utters sounds like "heee" or "huuu" and sucks on a pacifier that doubles as a charger. It apparently is a very undemanding pet and, unlike those other furry critters - cats and dogs - won't die on you as long as you keep him charged.
So, there is hope for those of us who occasionally want for a friend and/or companionship. For a few bucks we can rent someone to tell us how brilliant and handsome we are. In our sunset years, we'll tuck our robot seal under our arm and it will look like there's an animal that actually likes us.
One note of caution, though: Don't try charging Paro if the sheets are wet.
(This editorial has appeared previously in The Maui News.)
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.