The marauders have been out again and once again I have been forced to take steps. Despite the bricks piled around it the rickety front door of my plastic compost bin has been forced open and half-made compost ripped out and spread about. With grim face I have shovelled the stuff back in, replaced the bricks and now piled earth all around the base of the bin in an attempt to keep the nuisances (whatever they be) off.
But, short of concrete, there must be a better solution and I believe that I have found it. Very soon it is possible to imagine the following dialogue on BBC's Dragon's Den as Daddy Do-Little makes his pitch for the world's very first REFUSE RODENT REPULSER!
Daddy Do-Little: Hello Dragons and welcome to the 'Refuse Rodent Repulser', a gadget designed to keep pests of any shape or size away from your personal compost bin. Now, it's well known that there are currently 9, 436, 282.7 compost bins in use around the UK with hundreds more zipping off the shelves every minute as the DIY gardening germ grips the nation. However, the main fly in the ointment for everyone's Good Life ideal is that their compost bin could become a magnet for unscrupulous and hungry animals anxious to sample the kitchen leftovers deposited inside. I am happy to say that, thanks to the Rodent Repulser, these people need fear no longer.
This handy little gadget is attached to a compost bin and, once switched on, will automatically activate whenever an animal approaches, recognising their presence by means of an invisible laser beam. If the beam is broken the device immediately emits a noise to scare the intruder away. A variety of noises can be selected such as music, animal sounds or a human voice. The device can be managed remotely using a mobile phone app and a selection of sounds can be downloaded at a mildly exorbitant price from the associated website.
I'm looking for a £300, 000 investment for a 3% share of the company. Any questions?
Dragon 1: Objection. What about the noise pollution?
DD: Not a problem. This machine can recognise the type of animal approaching and can be programmed accordingly. For a rat or mouse, for example, it can be made to mew like a cat or hoot like an owl. Neither of these sounds would be disturbing in any way. Music can also be tailored to the user's particular tastes as it is possible to choose from tracks as diverse as Saint-Saen's 'Carnival of the Animals' (Introduction and Royal March of the Lion, recommended) to 'Don't Look Back In Hunger' by British band Oasis. It is also possible to programme it to play Christmas Carols at Christmas time and 'Auld Lang Syne' at New Near. Alternatively, the operator may wish to use different music for different times of the day to avoid annoying the neighbours. I recommend a beautiful recording of 'All Through the Night' for any time after midnight.
Dragon 2: You said it could also speak like a human. How so?
DD: Again, this is ingenious. The machine has several alternative voices which can be employed depending upon the operator's preference. For more genteel locations, for example, the machine could say, "Excuse me, would you mind removing yourself from the vicinity of my garden and kitchen waste receptacle. Thank you." For other destinations the phrase, "Oi, you! Geroff me bin!" might be thought more appropriate.
Dragon 3: You realise that's absolute class distinction?
DD: Yes. Brilliant isn't it? For richer customers at risk of burglary this machine can also be used as an anti-theft device. Once the beam is broken the machine is able to emit a sound like the creaking of a rusty door coupled with hideous maniacal laughter guaranteed to turn blood to water in the veins of even the hardiest burglar.
Dragon 4: You realise that even if this device scares away the rodents from your garden they will simply go next door and plague the neighbours?
DD: No, because the neighbours will then invest in a Rodent Repulser of their own. This will immediately increase sales by 300%. Very soon the pests will have nowhere to flee except into the sea and the UK will become a rodent-free land for the first time in history.
Dragon 5: Have you actually made any of these yet?
DD: No. That's why I want your money.
Dragons 1 - 5: (All together) I'm out!
Now why? I am certain that once this device goes on sale it will cause commercial meltdown in a big way. Projected launch date: 29 February 2019 (Subject to extension or cancellation). Patent: yet to be applied for.