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I am always looking for new things to extend my marriage. Take the dual-control electric blanket, for example. It came along just in time. I was on the verge of donating my frozen body to science.

There was a time when I thought peace and harmony in our union was threatened. Then my husband got an exercise bicycle with portable wheels on it. Now I just wheel it out of sight every chance I get, and his heart rate accelerates just trying to find it.You cannot imagine my giddiness when I noted last week that there is a new alarm clock on the market called "Shake Awake." It's touted as being for the "morning-impaired."

Morning-impaired people are not physically impaired in any way. They are just endowed with convenient hearing. They can lie in bed and hear a water faucet drip outside the house. They can't hear the dog tunneling under the door when he wants out. They can hear the score of a ball game when they're fast asleep in front of the TV set. They can't hear a baby crying at 2 a.m. in the next room. They can hear the tires on their car screech when it is being parked in a garage a block away. They cannot hear an alarm clock when it is 2 feet from their face.

Shake Awake is a dream come true. You stick the clock under the pillow of the awakee, and when it's time for the alarm to go off, it pulsates and vibrates as though it's shaking you out of a coma.

I don't want to get my hopes built up, but I think this time I'm on to something. We've had alarm clocks in the past that did everything from play music to begin with a hum and build to a crescendo that threatened to crack the walls. I once got an alarm clock that nagged my husband to death. As soon as he turned it off, it would wait five minutes and then go off again. He became quite hostile and one morning drowned it in the washbowl.

One year, I bought him a clock that looked like a yellow tennis ball. When the alarm went off, the only way you could stop it was by slamming it against a wall. He eventually threw it into the driveway and ran his car over it.

Shake Awake is my last chance. Other than having an alarm clock that grabs a person around the throat and shouts, "Wake up or you're a dead man!" I don't know what to do.

Why am I smiling?