You know the time of day: Right as you leap off a helicopter to make a daring rescue, or slam that soccer ball into a goal surrounded by a million screaming fans, or lean closer and closer to that boy or girl of your dreams, a dull, beeping sound starts to come out of nowhere. No problem, you continue for another half a second before the sound explodes and unleashes into a blaring, hellish, scream of a sound that just banished your dream of a life into absolute nothingness. And then you wake up, slam the snooze button, go back to sleep, and the cycle continues. Before you know it, you’re 30 minutes late to work or class, but by now you’ve become used to it.
Realizing this, some witty fellow at MIT thought it would be great to give the damn alarm clock wheels and the ability to leap off the table when it goes off. But intelligent people, like you, realized that’s just more convenient: As the obnoxiousness runs towards you, you give it an evil grin, aim carefully, and kick the screaming thing as hard as possible so it makes a satisfying, exploding, crunching cacophany against the wall. Then you sleepily smile, courteously bow to your million invisible fans, and fall back to dreamy sleep knowing that you’ll wake up late for class and curse yourself for wasting $50 on such a useless device.
Even though the fellow patented his idea, a brilliant student at Olin College devised a workaround for the patent, and recruiting a team of equally sinister students, set out to create the ultimate alarm clock that would never result in oversleeping again.
What if, she wondered, instead of keeping the alarm clock and its "off" button on the same unit, the off button was separate from the alarm clock? What if the off button was split into five essences that were scattered in the air above your dreams? No really, what if the off button was literally broken into five discrete pieces and catapulted off the alarm clock in the form of five dangerous golf-sized balls that would need to be retrieved and restored before the screaming alarm clock would be silenced?
Oh god, her collaborators thought, realizing that their creation truly had the power to end oversleeping once and for all.