The CEO of Wagster Industries was driving home last Thursday when his mobile phone rang where it lay in the passenger seat. Both hands on the wheel, he glanced down at the number. It was MegaCorp, calling to discuss his next consignment of Aquareeps, currently being manufactured in Ulan Bator.
knew he shouldn't, but he had to get the call. No sooner had he put his phone to his ear, than the blue lights appeared in his rear view mirror along with a short bark from the siren.
"I'll have to call you back I'm afraid..."
He stashed the phone under his seat between the springs and the foam, removing from the same hiding place what looked like an identical phone which he placed in his lap before pulling over.
The bobby knocked on the window and looked on disapprovingly while it was lowered.
"Excuse me sir, were you aware that talking on a mobile phone whilst driving a vehicle carries a £120 fine and three penalty points?"
"You must have been mistaken officer, that is the Wagster Industries Portable Wax Remover. Try calling the last number."
The policeman took the proffered phone and hit the green button twice before holding it to his ear.
Within half a second, a blast of warm saline solution had sprayed into his ear, a laser rangefinder had measured the exact distance to the eardrum and a cotton bud had entered, wiped round once without touching anything sensitive and retracted back into the device.
Stunned, the officer regarded the machine at arms length. After a short pause, the cotton bud fired out of the top into some bushes. Further displeasure showed itself on his face.
"Are you also aware that littering in this area carries a fine of up to £3000?"
"Yes officer I am. However the only waste the machine produces is biodegradable - cotton on a paper stick with some salt and water."
"And you use this while driving?"
"Every day. Clean ears make a tidy mind! And I'm not aware of any laws regarding personal grooming whilst in charge of a vehicle..."
"And this machine just happens to look exactly like a phone?"
"It's the perfect form-factor to hold to your ear you see. Plus the batteries are readily available."
The policeman looked deeply suspicious, then sighed.
"Off you go then. And don't let me see you again."
As the CEO pulled out again, he wondered how long it would take for personal grooming in cars to become illegal after the first 100,000 units of Portable Wax Removers arrived from Ulan Bator.