I'm not one of those people that needs bombs dropping outside my window to wake up. Depending on various factors I have yet to understand, some nights a sound as gentle as the air-conditioning clicking on or the gentle smell of my cat using the litter box, wafting past my nose from the next room, is enough to wake me. Unfortunately for me and all those like me, I am frequently gifted with roommates who sleep like they're in comas, and are nearly unwakeable come morning. (I usually end up turning their alarms off for them, then poking them rudely in the head until they stir.)
That's why I fear the alarm clocks on this list like the plague -- not because I need them, but because it's very likely that people near me will. Recently, my wife and I came into the possession of the most annoying alarm clock I've ever personally encountered, which is of Japanese vintage. I don't understand what it says, but it sounds a little something like this:
Seriously, just kill me. Kitsch value aside, however, it's not nearly as irritating as the skin-crawlers on our list. For instance:
The climbing clock
Certainly the work of evil geniuses, the climbing clock hangs above your head and starts climbing while it rings. Don't wake up fast enough, and you won't be able to shut it up without a ladder.
The anemone clock
From the Anemone Clock's product literature: "The Anemone Clock is designed to rumble, tremble, and literally bounce away from your beside when the alarm sounds forcing any sleeping beauty out of bed to wrestle it down, pick it up, get shaken awake, and finally turning it off." I can't think of a worse way to wake up.
It wakes you up by firing four puzzle pieces up in the air, and then it is your task to get the pieces and put them back in the alarm clock - it won't turn off until then. (If you ask me, anyone who can complete puzzles first thing in the morning -- even simple ones -- never went to sleep in the first place.)
Chicken and egg problem clock
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? (At 6:15 in the morning, I guarantee you won't care.) To shut this baby off, you have to put all the expelled eggs back in the chicken's hollow body. Perfect for those animal gynecology students who have trouble making early classes. (Also, who ever suggested I needed a problem first thing in the morning? It being super early in the morning is already a problem. So as Jay-Z said, I may have 99 problems -- but this clock ain't one.)