The first sound of the day can be the cruelest. If it's not an obnoxious buzz or beep, it's a clock/radio spewing suicide bombings. Wouldn't you rather start the day with finely honed irony in a plummy British accent: "I am delighted you have survived another night. If you would allow a personal note, sir, may I add my own small congratulations to the roar of the world's approval? Thank you, sir."
The voice is that of Stephen Fry, reprising his television role as P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves, the prototypical English butler. And he's built into the Voco clock. There are "nearly" 50 wake-up messages and a dozen different responses when you turn off the alarm. Jeeves will even run through a 90-second relaxation exercise, purring you to sleep. Veddy civilized. The clock looks like a miniaturized satire of classical architecture. It's shipped from the U.K. (where else?) for £25.95 plus £3.95 "post and packing" or £8.95 for overseas orders. The total cost in dollars is roughly $67.40 at current exchange rates.