Better or otherwise, this mousetrap uses neither springs nor poison. If that doesn't strike your fancy, how about a kit for making your own four-seater plane? Could you use a few dozen cow gallstones?
All this and more can be found in a federal government catalog designed to help peddle U.S. goods around the world.Among the other novelties listed in the monthly publication "Commercial News USA" is a machine for making miniature doughnuts. And there's genuine Kiowa Indian beef jerky.
The Department of Commerce sends 110,000 copies every month to U.S. missions in 140 countries, but does not distribute them in the United States.
The magazine has an index in French and Spanish as well as English and some missions translate the entire issue.
The Foreign Agricultural Service of the Agriculture Department takes inquiries from other countries and makes them available through computer information networks to Americans with farm products to sell. Some are published in the Journal of Commerce, a business daily in New York.
Earlier in the 1980s, the inquiries included such exotic items as the cow gallstones - for use in Chinese medicine - as well as four-leaf clovers and turtle eggs. "Foreign Agriculture," published monthly by the department, says it does not know what the clover and turtle eggs were for.
Last year, the countries with the most requests were Taiwan, Japan, Britain, Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain, West Germany and Canada.
Manufacturers pay $150 to get a small black-and-white photo and a brief description of their product in "Commercial News USA."