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Kate Has an Invention and There’s a Party to Celebrate

It is undeniable some people are simply more inventive than others. They seem to be on an eternal quest for improvement and invention.

Often it’s the small things, like the dude who invented the Post-it note. Or the first person who ever dunked a Tim Tam in a cup of coffee and used it like a melty, delicious chocolate straw. I mean, these innovations, while simple, are hard to top.

Sadly, I am not naturally gifted in this area, but it doesn’t mean I don’t try. In fact, I’m mildly obsessed with trying to invent something. Successful invention is a numbers game. You need to try to “create the new” in every facet of your life and, eventually, you’re gonna hit paydirt. Like the other night, when I was trying to make a cocktail with the dregs of what was left in the liquor cabinet.

It was slim pickings, but I mixed and measured, and came up with the most delicious drink. Thrilled, I presented a glass of my new concoction to my husband.

“I call it a Burmese Kitten,” I said, watching as he took a cautious sip.

He swallowed. Frowned slightly. Then said: “This is a Kahlúa and Coke.”

What a grinch. It was, in fact, a Kahlúa and HALF-Coke. With lemon. Clearly, too nuanced for his palate.

Anyway, I am nothing if not persistent. And since the invention of the smartphone, I’ve been racking my brain to think of a new app. This is a tricky pursuit, because there are already more than 10 MILLION of them. There are maps and games and “Where’s the nearest servo?” and “Can I turn my phone into a mirror to do my make-up?”

The latter two were, incidentally, ideas of mine; ideas so great they’d already been thought of by someone else. Which could be dispiriting. Because sometimes it seems all the good things have already been invented and the only new ideas are bad ones, like ISIS or “new and improved” Barbecue Shapes.

But if you think that, you’d be wrong. Because in January this year, I had to make a call to someone I didn’t want to speak to. I was dreading it, so as I dialled I muttered that desperate mini-prayer: “Please let it go straight to voicemail.”

Praise be, it did. And I was so thrilled – so happy and relieved – I thought to myself: “There should be an app for that.”

When I went into work, I mentioned the idea to our producer Sacha, and she loved it and clapped her hands with glee, but my funny friend Doubting Hughesy said: “Surely someone has already invented that?” which seemed entirely likely, so we called some app designers. They researched it and then uttered the incredible phrase: “This doesn’t exist in Australia.” And went off and built it.


So now, I am an actual inventor; the creator of an app called Dubcall. It’s in the App Store and everything. I don’t think it’s going to change the world – only for other chicken-hearts like me who need to call in sick, or want to break up with their Tinder date, or can’t face speaking to their landlord, or ex.

So I’m throwing a party to celebrate. The Burmese Kittens are on me, folks! I’ve left the details on your voicemail.


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