When times get tough, the tough invent. Here's our list of the things we want to see made real:
1 The standardisation of obscene European hand gestures.
2 A social networking site for angry, paranoid recluses, in which it’s impossible to befriend anyone else.
3 Dial-A-Gangster. You’ve been crossed. Sadly, there weren’t too many hard men at your minor public school. Help is at hand... and fist, and boot.
4 The Scarlett Johansson diet — actually turns your partner into Scarlett Johansson.
5 Earphones that don’t bother anyone else on public transport.
6 The Bark-U-Like — a voice box you insert into a dog’s throat so that every time it barks, it blasts out one of your favourite songs.
7 A personal hygiene tester at the gate of every transatlantic flight.
8 An alert system linked to the Treasury that flashes a signal on your computer each time the government spends your money on something ridiculous, like ID cards or speaker of the House Michael Martin’s wages.
9 An anti-strobe gizmo to counter the continually flashing screen that would result from the above.
10 A “green” car that looks like a car and not a child’s drawing of one.
11 An understanding bank.
12 The passing of a law forbidding all buzzwords and management speak.
13 An automated cinema ticket-buying phone service that doesn’t make you stay in and wait for the DVD to be released.
14 A widget for your television that neutralises the digital pitch-side advertising that’s made football almost unwatchable.
15 A universal access code that obviates the necessity for every human being to remember 900 passwords and PINs.
16 A device for scanning foetuses to detect a predilection for free-form jazz.
17 A machine that establishes the exact moment to insult someone and still retain moral superiority.
18 The Epiphinator — a contraption that accurately captures all the good ideas you have in your head before you forget them.
19 A shoulder-weighting system that prevents the boss from shrugging and saying the words “credit crunch” during performance meetings.
20 A satnav that will under no circumstances direct you to an agreed list of towns you really can’t stand.