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The Scrivener: My Pet Yak

Brian Barratt, whose mind is constantly a-bubble and a-boil with inventive thoughts, suggests a replacement for the Swiss Army Knife Ė the Swift Barmy Knife.

For lots more fun and games with thoughts and words visit Brianís wonderful Web site, The Brain Rummager www.alphalink.com.au/~umbidas/

Metal detectors beep loudly when you walk through those arch things at airports. Swiss Army knives send them into paroxysms of chirping. For security reasons, you canít take a Swiss Army knife onto an aeroplane. Itís a weapon. The time has come for something different.

We need something to help us act swiftly when faced with a practical problem. How about a Swift Barmy Knife with a set of really useful thingummies? Letís ponder a few everyday challenges.

When you buy a CD or some other shrink-wrapped item, youíre driven barmy trying to get the plastic stuff off. Kitchen knives wonít fit. Scissors are too clumsy. Paper-knives, well, not many homes have those. Letís have a SWAP ó Shrink-Wrap Application Probe. A swift twist of the wrist, and the thingís unwrapped.

One of the daftest things you can do is to lock yourself out of your own house. Itís even worse when youíve just arrived home, tired out and smelly, after a very long drive. Every door is deadlocked. Every window is barred. You feel a right twit. Itís time for the TREK, Twit Re-Entry Key, which will open any door in your house.

My Swiss Army Knife has a whatsit for removing stones from horsesí hoofs. At least, thatís what I think it is. Iíve never found a horse suffering from stoned feet. But I, and millions of others, face a greater problem.

You know those little twisty opener thingies on cans of corned beef and other types of tinned meat? They usually work very well at one end of the can. But the meat wonít come out. The reason is simple: the other end of the can needs an air-hole. No available kitchen gadget can be attached quickly to that end in order to pierce a hole.

The Swift Barmy Knife will have a TRAP ó Tin Reverse Air Piercer. In the USA it will be CRAP, Can Reverse Air Piercer. In certain other countries it could well be known as the CRAPTRAP, of course.

You buy your tinned meat at a supermarket, right? And youíre surrounded by people using their mobile phones. Theyíre asking someone at home, and at great expense, if thereís already milk in the fridge or something equally trivial. Donít you feel left out, inferior, if you canít do that? The solution is at hand.

The SBK will have a KBS, a Knowledge Base Speaker. You simply record some messages on it before you leave home. Better still, you get your partner to record them. In the supermarket, when you want to impress everyone else with your post-21st-century mobile phone, use the KBS. Wave it around ostentatiously. Ask a question, in a loud voice, and switch it to an appropriate answer. Turn the volume up so that everyone can hear it. Like, wow! Thatís cool, man!

What else? Ah, yes. Itís difficult to retrieve peanuts from the infinite depths between the seat and arms of your armchair. Itís damned impossible, and very embarrassing, if youíre visiting a friend who has posh new armchairs wherein no peanut has hitherto lurked. Fear not, the SBK will have a telescopic IDROP for Immediate Detection & Removal Of Peanuts.

We live in a world of operating systems, parallel ports, uploads, downloads, networks, drop-outs, blue screens of death, USBís, 404ís, WWW, and all the clutter of computerism that drives us totally barmy.

Look at it this way. Youíve just been trying to instal a new program on your computer. It wonít work. You try again. The continuing process of instal, delete, remove, re-instal ad infinitum is driving you mad. You want to scream, smash the whole thing into smithereens, and kick next doorís cat.
Thereís an instant remedy. Just plug in your SBK and use the UMPY ó Unload My Psychotic Yearnings. Ah, sweet relief!

ÖPardon? You donít have a computer? Not to worry. Your UMPY is dual-purpose. Itís also emits a warning signal to nasty people who attempt to kidnap household pets: Unhand My Pet Yak. Unfortunately, that function will work only at high altitudes in Tibet. Such a limitation will severely reduce the market for the SBK, sending the manufacturer out of business.
Oh well. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

© Copyright 2006 Brian Barratt

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