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  • The Guys In The Kitchen

BEST BUYS: New device can detect a dickhead at 20 yards.

It’s been ten years in the making, but finally, a simple gadget will enable you to identify the ‘resident pillock' from a safe distance.

Spot the prat.

Every office, party, dorm and gym has one – the resident pillock – that tosspot who spoils everything for everyone. Until now, the only way to be sure you were dealing with a complete dickhead was messy trial and error. That often got ugly. However, according to the makers, those days are now over, as the all-new Shillby Prat-Buster makes detecting the stupidest person in the room a breeze. RFN's resident techster, Liam Mulrooney gave the first consumer model a workout over the weekend.

The trial began in my local coffee shop, a Costa located in Wembley Park, North London. I’ve been using this store for some months now, so I knew that Kevin, a 23 years old barista with a poor sense of self-mockery would be working the steamer. As I filtered to the front of the line and Kevin stepped up to the plate, I discretely aimed the Prat-Buster at his chest. Before bumble-boy could ask ‘what’s yer poison?’, the gadget buzzed gently in my hand. Glancing down, I could see the read-out was a solid 17 out of 20, with a red graded line and the legend ‘wally warning’ flashing on screen. Impressive to say the least.

Shillby Prat-Buster gets four stars.

From Kevin, I moved on to London Underground – always a rich source of plonkers. The train arrived as I reached the platform and within seconds, I was heading towards Finchley Road and feeling the Prat-Buster buzzing in my pocket.

Set to ‘auto detect’, the device had located a total buzzcock at the far end of the carriage: A woman in her mid-thirties having a loud and intimate phone conversation to the detriment of her fellow travellers. As she got into the lurid details of the night before, the gadget graded her at 16. Not enough to be a full-on prat but close enough to need to avoid.

I changed carriages at the next stop and spent the rest of the journey setting the Prat-Buster onto ‘prowl’ mode, a nifty GPS feature which brings up a map of the user’s local vicinity and reveals the proximity of certified muppets with pulsing red dots. As I emerged into daylight at Bond Street, the screen lit up. Clearly, the junction of Bond Street and Oxford Street is a magnet for tossers.

Standing to one side of the tube station exit, I aimed the device in several directions. It made a series of low beeps as it homed in the nearest prat, with the beeps increasing in speed and volume the nearer I moved.

It was not difficult to spot the resident pillocks. The first was a street peddler selling dodgy looking umbrellas, the next was a black cab driver sporting a big ‘No Deal, No Effin’ Problem’ sticker on his vehicle and the third was a group of drunken football fans urinating on a beggar. The machine gave scores of 15, 18 and 19 in each case. So far, the Prat Buster was ten out of ten.

Prat central

Lastly, for the biggest test, I took an Uber to Westminster, (driver scored a low-ball 4, labelling him as ‘mildly irritating’). Alighting in Parliament Square, I switched the gadget to ‘macro’ – a feature which scans through solid objects such as walls and heavy body fat. Pointing the machine at the Houses of Parliament sent the Prat-Buster into a wild frenzy, with the screen flashing crimson and the speaker shrieking. The ladies and gentlemen residing inside the centre of our democracy scored 20+, the highest the device will go. Effectiveness proven.

Weighing an acceptable 250grams and small enough to fit in a jacket pocket, the Mk I Prat-Buster costs £99.95p. It is available in three colours – white, silver and ‘dickhead camo’. Our version was fitted with the long-life battery, which the makers say will last up to 12 hours in continuous use, or more than enough for a typical Ed Sheeran concert. Buy it at Curry’s, Wilko and other major chains from May 1st. Warranty is good for 1000 pillock identifications.

The Shillby Pratt-Buster. Verdict: **** a must-have for Glyndebourne.

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