Forget the millions of dollars spent on impeachment hearings and Kenneth Starr-type harassment.

Perhaps the U.S. government should have invested in a Doki Doki Checker.

Takara Co. has brought out a key-chain size lie detector for teens. The Doki Doki Checker is shaped like an angel and allows you to test your friends to see if they are angelic truth-tellers or disloyal demons.

The person under interrogation places their fingers on the metal wingtips of the gadget and the device reacts with light and noise, depending on how much sweat it detects. The faster the flashing light and the louder and quicker the heartbeat sound, the less likely it is that they are telling the truth.

The toy lie detector is targeted at high-school girls and the instructions that accompany it suggest asking questions about boys. You can check if a friend really kisses her man’s photo before she goes to bed, if her eyes wander when she is on a date or even if she prefers a good curry to her current mate (all questions covered in the manual).

For those of us who abandoned trysts behind the bike shed years ago, Takara suggests inquisition-style questions for the older, more cynical user. Does your buddy squeeze her butt into any gap on the train, however tiny? Will she shop for hours to get 1 yen off the purchase price? Is she really an obatarian?

The possibilities are endless. Take a Doki Doki Checker along to Monica Lewinsky’s next book signing to find out why she really kept that dress.

A real trip

Tokyo can be a consumer’s paradise, but if you’re a moderately sized foreigner, one too many fruitless excursions can leave you determined never to pound the streets of Shibuya or Omotesando again. Now Briangrafx, an Osaka-based Internet company, is posed to solve all that.

In the autumn, they plan to offer a virtual-retail service that will allow you to shop from home. Armed with the Fashion Trip CD-ROM, based on software jointly developed by U.S. companies IntelCorp and ModaCAD, home shoppers can browse through goods in a 3-D mall with a mouse in one hand and a credit card in the other. The 3-D mall will be packed with hundreds of high-street names including Levi’s, Diesel, Nicole Miller and Esprit, and cosmetic companies such as Almay and Urban Decay. Briangrafx also plans to add Japanese brands.

When you have chosen possible outfits from the photo-realistic stores you can “drag and drop” merchandise into a digital dressing room, to try out different outfits on a mannequin. According to spokeswoman Rika Kiyono, intelligence embedded in the program allows “for seamless layering of multiple garments.”

An added bonus is the search engine, Fashion Finder, that presents garments to you visually. Want the ultimate white shirt? Click your mouse and the finder will offer choices from several different brands.

If you hate to shop alone there is even an interactive feature that allows you to hook up with friends abroad to use the CDs in sync, try on clothes in a shared digital dressing room and ask a global, “Does my bum look big in this?”