JUST WHEN I WAS BEGINNING to think that I had missed my chance to be up there with the movers and shakers, (those Hello magazine heroes who show us their palatial homes dotted round the world with Ferrari-filled courtyards and personal jets ready to fly them to a Caribbean island where they board their ocean-going alcohol fuelled boats, crewed by nubile young things in thongs who escort them to dry land just long enough to eat foie-gras at their permanently-reserved tables, overlooking views that dreams are made), I realised that I am not too late to join this elite club of entrepreneurs.
I still have time… all I have to do is to get THE IDEA up and running. Actually, the idea itself came to me in a flash. It is so simple, so blatantly obvious that I still cannot understand why it had not been thought of before.
This eureka moment just happened, the result of the simplest of triggers. My home has an infestation. Not moths, not ants, nor, heaven forbid, spiders, but something not so much entomological as technological.
My sudden morphing into an about-to-be-bloated capitalist happened in the small hours, four in the morning to be precise, when I was awakened from a light sleep by an intermittent, but persistent, bleeping.
It wasn’t a rapid tone, therefore not a smoke alarm; nor was it the cordless drill, as it wasn’t being charged. It couldn’t be the air con as that hadn’t been switched on but that still left some 22 other gizmos that could be warning me of something.
The kitchen alone has seven, the office four, the bathrooms one each and the bedrooms four. And I could not go directly to the offending machine because the warning bleeps all have the same tone which means that in order to find the right one I would have to hunt around the entire house with eyes fully open and brain on full alert, knowing that when I finally got back into bed, I would be faced with an hour or so of sheep counting which fails to work anyway as Mrs Martin has a habit of turning over every now-and-then and elbowing me in the ribs. As a result, I lose count and, while gasping for breath I know at least four or five of them – sheep that is – have either jumped over the wall or turned back – so I have to start again. But I digress.
Not having an ear for perfect pitch, or owning a piano, I can’t tell you the exact tone the bleep chip has, but for supposition let us call it F sharp. (I know, you’re well ahead but please bear with me). So, I ask, why? Why should we be limited to one tone when we could theoretically, utilising in just one octave, have use of 12. Add to this a repetition factor of up to three and we now have 36 individual warning tones.
Therefore, should you be awakened by a double bleep in B flat you would know that your mobile phone needed charging, that a single F sharp would inform you that the filter in the tumble dryer was blocked and a triple C sharp that the microwave had turned itself on too early and your breakfast cereal is ready. Whereas a sustained entire chromatic scale would inform you that the power has just been restored after an outage and all your devices have just turned on. You can now see why I am excited about this project.
All it needs is a trip to the Far East to find a company ready to manufacture vari-toned bleep-chips in vast quantities. When this is tied up and patented, I shall lobby for a European directive to state that, in future, all warning tones are to be of a European standard, eg dishwashers shall sing in F sharp, freezers in G and electric hobs in A or whatever.
Personally, I believe (and Brussels would surely follow) that this is very important for Europe as it will mean that the entire population of our continent, on hearing three semi-quaver C sharp bleeps immediately followed by a double quaver in A flat would know that somewhere nearby a bouillabaisse was boiling over – assuming, of course, that the French will obey an EU directive. They could well decide that all equipment in France shall play the same compulsory ten notes, D.D.D.G.G.A.A.D.B.G.
On second thoughts, do I need the Caribbean high life? I’m more than happy here, so perhaps I’ll just donate my patented bleep-tones to the EU. That’ll teach those Brexiteers a lesson.
I have to go now as the microwave is bleeping. No it’s not, it’s my watch telling me to get up and go for a walk.