Dear Dave

Wednesday 18 April 2007


Dear Dave,

Thank you for your continued interest in the Patented Parental rePeater, my invention which takes the work out of being ignored by endlessly repeating whatever a parent just said.

As you point out, I did promise that the Triple-P would be available for purchase by now. Unfortunately I've run into difficulties and am now in legal dispute with a company looking to produce an item called the Toddler Answer Back (TAB). Here's an extract from some of their marketing material:

Children!!!! TAB is for you. Fed up of repeating yourself because you're not getting what you want? Tired of saying the same thing AGAIN AND AGAIN! Want the power without the effort of actually pestering?

Get TAB (TM).

Hang it round your neck, go about your daily mayhem and then, at the touch of a brightly coloured button, have TAB repeat the last thing you said. Press a different button and keep it saying the same thing over and over and over until THE END OF TIME!!!!!! The longer it goes on, the louder and whinier it will get. Everyone will hear but only dogs will understand! Your parents will give you ANYTHING just to get the noise to stop.

You need TAB.

Comes complete with 127 pre-programmed sayings, including:

  • No.
  • Heh!
  • I want it.
  • I need toilet.
  • Wake up!
  • I don't want it.
  • So?
  • I really need toilet.
  • I want mummy do it.
  • I want daddy do it.
  • I want Barney do it.
  • I do it myself.
  • I REALLY need toilet.
  • I'm not wearing it.
  • Why?
  • You not touch my TAB.
  • I don't need toilet anymore.
  • I hurt my tongue.
  • You rub it better.
  • Look at me!
  • NOW!
  • I need dry socks.
  • Turn your hearing aid on. (For use on grandparents who are supposed to be helping out but have in fact opted for a crafty nap).

Save your own annoying sayings and noises:

  • Prove to your parents how loudly they snore.
  • Play electronic nursery rhymes back slightly out of sync with the original toy.
  • Disable voice-activated security systems with ease.
  • Drive people insane - set TAB to copy whatever they say!
  • Record calls for help, hide TAB in common household appliances and watch your parents panic.
  • Mimic the phone, the doorbell and the fire alarm.
  • Use built-in voice masking wizardry to argue in the style of Darth Vader, Yoda, Beach Fun Barbie or a Dalek!

TAB also has several special modes:

  • Extra Screechy - for use in church
  • Firm but Polite - for use on other people's parents
  • Extra Loud - for cinemas, funerals and early mornings

TAB is waterproof, shockproof, easily portable, resistant to sledgehammers and has a battery-life of between 6 months and 25 years (dependent on the number, age and stubbornness of your parents). Buy it now!

TAB - It complains so you don't have to.

(Batteries not included).

Obviously, I think I have a strong case that they've ripped off my idea and subverted it, but things aren't looking good - their lawyers are smaller than mine. The law firm itself is large but the actual lawyers are small and, in my experience, small lawyers are the most dangerous. (Think Tom Cruise in The Firm). Still, I'm hopeful we can come to some form of mutually beneficial arrangement. I'm thinking a dual pack containing both a Triple-P and a TAB might work. Then both devices could be set going, sealed in a lead-lined box and buried in the back garden. This would leave families free to play together happily without disagreement, knowing all the pointless arguing was being taken care of elsewhere. Peace and harmony would be assured.

If only...

Yours in a woman's world,


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