I don't care if they're more of a seventies relic than one of Margo Leadbetter's kaftans, I want a teasmaid. In fact, I can even turn a blind eye to the fact that it'll feel like I'm waking up in the Swindon Holiday Inn. I just want to wake up without suffering the invasively shrill shriek of a regular alarm clock. Having been dragged from REM sleep by more beeps, gurgles and electronic whines than R2D2 getting a blowjob, I've decided there must be a more civilised way to be woken up in a morning.
I've always been a sucker for any kind of gadgetry, so I once spent £30 of my hard-won pocket money on a spherical alarm clock that responded to sounds. According to the packaging, a short, sharp whistle could disable the aggressively atonal siren. Sadly, I can whistle about as well as Jamie Oliver, and so had to resort to other sounds in an attempt to switch off my relentless alarm. Living in halls of residence at the time, I'd regularly wake up and try to turn it off with a sudden clap of my hands, only to find that the less-than-sensitive receiver would only respond to a very specific pitch. So I'd lay there for several minutes, clapping until my palms were red and sore. The guy in the next room thought I'd found Jesus.
Over the years, a number of other novelty alarms have failed me. I bought one of those projection clocks, which promised to subtly cast the time of day onto the bedroom wall. It was like trying to sleep through the New Year fireworks on the south bank. One Christmas, I received a spongy baseball alarm, which invited me to throw it at the wall in order to deactivate the ringer. That ended up costing me an expensive stereo speaker. In the end, we gave up on the gizmos and went retro, picking out a proper wind-up clock with an old-fashioned bell. The ringer was so loud it gave one of our dogs a heart murmur.
So what's a borderline narcoleptic supposed to do if they want to wake up without having a panic attack? Soft, subtle ringtones are all well and good, but they're easier to ignore than the shipping forecast. Radio alarm clocks are a nice idea, but all that early morning chatter soon lulls you back to sleep before you've even registered that daylight is poking through the curtain.
Having been dragged from REM sleep by more beeps, gurgles and electronic whines than R2D2 getting a blowjob, I've decided there must be a more civilised way to be woken up in a morning.
And don't get me started on the snooze button. Who came up with the idea of a manual override system for a machine with only one function? It's the worst invention since Clive Sinclair looked at a tricycle and thought "what if..." It only takes a couple of days for your body to learn the alarm's pattern, and before you know it, your right arm is taking matters into its own hand - hitting 'snooze' without letting the rest of your body know what it's up to. You lie there, resting your eyes, and suddenly it's fucking Wednesday.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. So I'll be investing in the exciting new concept in automated wakification (I know, but there should be a word for it) currently being touted on AcidCow. This ingenious device looks like a standard glass-fronted alarm, except for the fact that it has a built-in shredder. Simply place a valuable banknote in the slot before you start tallying your ruminants, and in the morning you'll have the perfect incentive to spring quickly from your pit. Because if you don't, that banknote will be little more than a pile of Donald Trump's party streamers all over your carpet.
In these austere times, it seems more than a little cavalier to gamble a fifty-pound note on the chance of an extra five minutes in bed. Then again, since shopkeepers treat you like Ronnie Biggs whenever you try to spend one, maybe it's not that much of a loss. I guess it doesn't have to be money - any other precious paperwork will do: marriage certificate, counterpart driver's licence, Olympic tickets.
Since this clock is currently only a concept, you may have to find another way of blowing a bunch of money every morning. In which case I recommend a speaker dock for your iPhone. In the time it takes for you to programme the alarm, your technology will have been rendered obsolete by yet another Steve Jobs keynote announcement. Works like a charm.
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