Did I Really Want One of Those? 15. Whistle Key Ring

Dude, Where’s My Car Keys?

07 January 2014: Had a right time and a fifth trying to find my car keys. When I passed my driving test, I could find the keys to my Ford Escort by whistling It’s A Sin or Lovely Day. Now I wonder what happened to the key ring I used to have? I think I threw it out because the tune was most irritating. Or they fell in a grid when I tried to swap it for a Mortgage Point (745 9494) key fob near Stretford Arndale.

By the late 1980s, our love of gadgetry was in full swing. As well as CD players and video recorders, there was another source for lovers of state-of-the-art technology: the Innovations catalogue. Some items may have been dismissed as mere toys, yet we lapped them up. One popular gadget was an antidote to missing keys.

Whistle Key Ring

The idea was simple: the wonders of electronic technology would guarantee against missing keys. Fantastic: house keys, car keys or work keys found in a jiffy. Usually to the strains of some irritable instrumental tune like hold music. All very well if the batteries are working.

Today’s examples look like Tamagotchis, luggage tags or dog tags. Some even have flashing LED lights, offering a visual as well as aural reference. I wonder if the music has improved since the late 1980s?

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2013 price: £2.20 – £15.00 (eBay.com/Amazon.co.uk/IWantOneOfThose.com, checked on the 02 December 2013).

S.V., 15 December 2013.

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