"I need people with a good strong butt."
So said one "Mike Stamps" of San Clemente, California, in a 2007 Craigslist post looking for people to test out a new invention he'd built.
"Duties involve sustained blows to the rear by different brands of shoes attached to a rotating ferris wheel device."
It was a butt-kicking machine.
I came across Stamps' dazzling feat of fuckbrain ingenuity after spiraling down a rabbit hole kicked off by what is probably the greatest patent in all of US history. It's for a butt-kicking machine. In fact, several butt-kicking machines have been patented over the past century-plus. It's a rich tradition.
The patent that kicked off my journey is from 2004, for a "manually self-operated butt-kicking machine" and filed by one J. Reese Leavitt. Leavitt describes it as such:
"The user sits on the bench with his posterior centered over the hole. A seatbelt holds the user in place. There is a kicking mechanism located below the hole, which has a boot attached to it. When the user or operator pulls the hand-operated lever, the boot kicks the users' [sic] posterior through the hole in the bench."
At max power, the boot attached to the machine penetrates four inches above the seat cover, according to the patent.
But as I mentioned, Leavitt was hardly the first American inventor to come up with a machine that kicks ass.
The earliest example of a patented butt-kicking machine might be the "initiating device" patented in 1900 by brothers Edmund and Ulysses De Moulin. The De Moulin brothers made a living by inventing trick devices, like the "automatic water-cooler for initiating purposes" that shoots a stream of water in the unsuspecting victim's face.
Their butt-kicker is a good deal more complicated than Leavitt's invention, since it's designed to look like weight-lifting equipment. The victim tries to do some deadlifts, but instead of doing a rep, they get slapped in the butt. Simpler times.
In 1908, Ulysses De Moulin patented a butt-kicking machine similar to the initiating device he and his brother designed, but with the caveat that it was a general purpose "combined lifting and spanking machine." No longer was it purely for the amusement of the well-to-do in their clubs.
But the De Moulins were outdone in the same year by another inventor, Isaac Mamaux of Pittsburgh. Previously, Mamaux invented a staple-setter in 1893, and co-invented a sprinkler for holy water in 1896. But in the early 1900s he dedicated his efforts to improving the De Moulins' initiation device.
Mamaux's device also looked like a workout machine, but was far more deceptive. While the De Moulins' device had a large and obvious paddle hanging off the back, Mamaux's invention was self-contained and discreet. It also sprayed water in the victim's face and hit them in the nuts as well as the butt. Like I said, simpler times.
Compared to the intricate creations of the De Moulin brothers and Mamaux, the butt-kicking robots of more recent times are… Well, crude. Leavitt's invention isn't for playing pranks so much as just standing there, kicking yourself in the butt, and hyucking it up.
As another example of this dumbing-down of butt-kicking machinery, we only need to look to one Joe W. Armstrong's 2000 patent for a "user-operated amusement apparatus for kicking the user's buttocks." Armstrong's machine utilizes a two-arm crank to drive a wheel of boots stationed behind the user, who is walloped on the behind.
I guess this machine assumes some kind of appetite for this sort of thing.
There are a few other butt-kicking and butt-kicking-adjacent inventions kicking around the US Patent Office, but that's the past. Butt-kicking is about the future, and a quick YouTube search will show you that there's no shortage of people out there eager to innovate in the buttocks impact industry.
It's funny, you ass.