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The hi-tech gadgets women need now!

by Beth Levine

February 14, 2008 | 5:00 pm

Every time a new techno-gadget catalog turns up in my mail, I'm disappointed before I even open it. And it's not because keeping up with technology is next to impossible -- unless you're under the age of 18 and have a less-than-active social life. It's due to the fact that few of the products in those catalogs are geared toward what a woman might actually want. Major manufacturers think that all they have to do is make the product pink to win us over. But, you won't find many women lost in a gooey haze over the latest inventions or upgrades until corporate America comes up with things that will make their lives simpler and easier. Herewith a catalog that would really make a gal swoon:

The Un-Calorie Counter

Want credit for not eating those unrequested fries that came with your sandwich? This marvelous device calculates the calories you didn't eat and deducts them from your actual weight, as a reward for your amazing restraint and virtue. And wait, there's more! With this purchase, you also get The Chip Counter. This amazing machine tells you which potato chip is the One Too Many that makes you feel nauseous and bloated.

Future Arrival Monitor

One day your prince will come -- but when? The cable guy says between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.; the phone guy thinks maybe by 5 p.m. The only thing that's for sure is that if you step out for five seconds, you'll miss him. Future Arrival Monitor tracks Prince Charming's whereabouts and sends exact details on his ETA to your phone. With Future Arrival Monitor, who needs fairy godmothers?

You Are the Fairest of Them All Mirror

Do you often wonder if you are just kidding yourself when you look in the mirror and think you look presentable? And how are you really to judge how you look from behind? This space-age mirror sends instructions from a 360-degree perspective, such as: tuck/no tuck, add jewelry, lose the scarf, try the black heels instead of the beige, and lots, lots more! Order now, and for no additional money, we'll throw in the Amazing Arm-a-lizer. Using secrets heretofore only known in China, it tells you exactly when you should stop wearing sleeveless shirts. Never wobble in public again!

Stupid Teen Ahead GPS System

This system takes control of your teen's car the instant she considers doing something idiotic like getting her butt tattooed with her boyfriend's name. STA-GPS will then navigate the car home where you can easily ground said teen without even having to get out of your pajamas. The key won't work again in the car until said teen comes to her senses. Or reaches her 20s, whichever comes first.

Husband Translator

Are you married to a low-communicator? Do you tear your hair out wondering what goes through his head? Based on the same science used at the United Nations, our handy-dandy Husband Translator fits snugly into your ear and does the work for you. From now on, you will be able to interpret from various grunts and sighs that he wants something fried for dinner, and to see the new blow-'em-up movie. Warning: Not responsible for any marital discord that occurs because of unforeseen revelations.

Road Sage

The driver ahead of you is going 20 miles per hour in 40 miles per hour zone. You are late for a much-needed hair appointment, and if you are more than 10 minutes late to this hairdresser she'll make you reschedule, and you don't have any time to reschedule because you've snuck out of work as it is to fit this appointment in! In the old days, you would just have to sit in the car while your blood pressure exceeded your car speed. Enter Road Sage! With one mighty press of a button, a crane snakes out from the front of your car, clasps tightly onto the bumper ahead and then lifts the slower car up and over you, gently setting it down behind you. You scoot off merrily to sunnier hair highlights, and leave the slowpoke (far, far) behind.

The Cone of Silence

Your co-worker won't stop that irritating throat-clearing thing. Your husband constantly hums off-tune. Your children are bickering -- again -- and you've sworn you wouldn't intervene anymore. But you are quite sure that your brain is going to explode. What you wouldn't give for just five minutes of total silence to hear your own heart beat! When ear plugs and white noise machines don't cut it, enter the 22nd century with the Cone of Silence. With the Cone of Silence, you need never hide in the bathroom again! Adjust this clear soundproof helmet over your head, and pretend you are in a meadow of wildflowers! E-Z Breathe Jets lets the air in -- and your tension out!

And Leave the Negotiating to Us!

Do you admire those talented people who seem to be able to negotiate at tag sales or get the best phone rate or car deals? And you can never think fast enough to try it yourself? Let our Haggle-Magic do the work for you. It rests unobtrusively in your palm, and prints out exactly what you should say. All you need to do is read it. Next: Haggle-Magic Supreme fits into your phone set and, using an imitation of your own voice, actually will do the talking for you.

Are you listening, Corporate Bigshots? Women currently boast a gajillion percent of the Western World's discretionary income, and it's just burning holes in our collective pockets. If you want us to start tossing some of it around, you need to answer that age-old question: What do women want?

Act now!

Beth Levine is a writer whose essays have appeared in Redbook, Woman's Day, Family Circle, the Chicago Tribune, USA Weekend and Newsday.

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