Bourbon country

So cruel! This morning I had to part from my two plasma TVs – just as I was just getting used to surfing screen number two while screen number one was having an ad break. Now I’m back to just one – but I love this new hotel, the Seelbach Hilton, which is a grand old building from WW I. The staircase is sheer Gone With the Wind – gilding and mahogany everywhere. This tour is like a tourist trip around all the best that US hotels can offer!

Another plus, it’s right in the centre of town. Town being Louisville, home of the Kentucky Derby and bourbon and paddlewheelers on the old Ohio. Instead of a half mile to the edge of the hotel grounds, as at the Biltmore, now I step out, turn to the left, and I’m in the middle of pubs, discos, restaurants, the works. Must’ve been the thought of the UK part of the tour coming up, because I went to The Pub and had beef stew and mash and beer (Texan bad, Boston good).

I started browsing a shopping catalogue on the flight from Phoenix. Americans love gadgets – and so do I! Very appropriate for a steampunk writer, and the truth is I always wanted to be an inventor. How about these for some wacky gadgets? –

An underwater pogo stick (the World’s One and Only) for hopping about in the swimming pool? And for company while hopping, what about a Kaleidoscopic Pool Cruising Fish (only $99) that waggles its tail to swim round your pool at random flashing out a continuous show of multicoloured lights for up to 8 hours?

For the financially-minded, there was a Front pocket Wallet, not rectangular, but specially curved on one side to fit in the shape of the male front pocket. Also, a Stainless Steel Wallet, more than normally durable and also prevents identity theft by anyone secretly scanning the credit cards through your jacket.

One of my favourites was the Solar-Powered Mole Repeller – you plant it in your lawn, and it uses the power of the sun to send a vibration through the ground that moles just hate. Or, also for the garden, a simple means for aerating the ground to encourage oxygen into the soil. Why use expensive machinery, when you can use Strap-On Sandals equipped with Specially Long Spikes! Don’t the say that all great inventions have the genius of simplicty? Make your own aerating holes by walking around – and you can replace the spikes at half the full cost when they wear out …

I won’t even mention the Peaceful Progression Alarm Clock that wakesyou gently over a 30 minute period with growing light, delightful arousing smells and a choice of one of six soft Nature sounds before the buzzer cuts in …

I’m going to go off now and dream up a device for preventing lint in bellybuttons or opening chip packets or something that humanity really needs. It’s all about ingenuity!

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