A must-have gadget


"You don't need that." A priest friend told me of a practice among some US clergy who were trained in the new style reform-of-the-reform seminaries, where a fellow cleric would come to the Rectory (as they call it in America) and go round the house pointing to various things that are unnecessary and need to be thrown out or given away. This struck me as a praiseworthy, if scary, example of brotherly support in poverty and accountability.

So it is embarrassing to post about a gadget that is probably entirely unnecessary. I saw it the branch of Dixons at Heathrow Terminal 5 departure lounge and left it there. I returned, knowing that I would regret it if I did not entertain the children with it. Actually, all the other passengers at the departure gate found it amusing,  reassuring, or puzzling, depending on the character of their techno footprint.

OK conscience, stop now! I'll give it to one of my nieces or nephews for Christmas. But before then I must bring it out with a straight face at a highly important clergy meeting.

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