The Watch.

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The advertisement was for Casio watches and outlined some of its merits along with a heading that said "It does everything but pat you on the back". Everything?

Dear Sir,

It was with some great hope and no little excitement that I read your advertisement in last Saturday's Age 'Good Weekend' Magazine.

"It does everything but pat you on the back" (It said.)

"Wacko!" (I said.)

At last a watch that will actually do some useful things rather than just linger around your wrist counting the sands of time. But alas, on closer reading, not the right things.

I'm afraid TV gives me the irrits. It's great if the watch will control it but one only needs to beam that glorious command 'off!' once. If only they could hear the 'click' in the studio it would sound like hail on a tin roof.

Read my pulse? Well, I reckon if there is no pulse then my time is up and the watch becomes a wait.

Predict bad weather? Well, you see, I have this arrangement with the weather: it ignores me and I ignore it. Remember, the weather bureau, a non-prophet organisation, with squillions of computers gets it wrong! Anyway, it rains on the rich, the poor, the happy, the sad, the watchers and the watchees. I can predict the weather: fine with the possibility of showers. Always. Never fails.

How high I've climbed and how deep I've dived? Reach depths of 200 metres without springing a leak! You don't know me well, do you? I'm six foot two standing and about eight inches lying; you will find me somewhere between the two extremes. Capacity beyond that is definitely overkill.

Navigate across Australia? Somewhere deep in the khaki recesses of my cub-scout mind I recall something about pointing hour hand at the sun and north (or was it south?) being somewhere between 12 and the minute hand. Or is it that south is the side of the watch that the moss grows on? I forget but as long as I can find the coffee pot, the computer and the letter-box all is well with my little corner of Terra australis.

Complex astronomy, already! I recognise the sun. Yes, even in Melbourne. And I recognise the moon; it excites my hairdresser. All else is just plain frivolous; except for the Dog Star, which is Sirius.

Find out when the fish feel suicidal! Holey batsocks! Fish are born suicidal! Why else would they eat worms?

Store up to 150 telephone numbers? Sacred blue! I only use five numbers and I can actually still remember them. Anyone else can send me a letter to the above address.

A unique illuminator system? I reckon that if I can't read the watch then I shouldn't be awake.

I must confess that, overall, I was disappointed with the various attributes you claim for your watches. What I was hoping for was a watch that would put out the garbage, carve the Sunday roast, darn socks, take back the library books, solve anagrams, weed the vegetable garden, transmute base metals into gold, remove religious intolerance and answer the ultimate questions of life, the universe and everything.

And I suppose if it wont give a pat on the back then I guess it's too much to hope that it would give a decent massage?

Another 15 years of research, eh? C'est la vie.

Oh...there was one issue on which the advertisement was ominously quiet: Does the watch actually tell the time?

It never actually says.

Yours in legendary G shock,

J. Cosmo Newbery.

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