The Spy-o-Matic was invented by the mage Melmuck (in one of his better years), and was immediately confiscated by King Crouton for his own personal use. The Spy-O-Matic has four settings - Plots, Gossip, Secrets and Filth - which can be used to tune in to the relevant subject. For example, spin the dial to "Gossip", and the Spy-O-Matic tunes into a random bit of gossip, somewhere within the city of Feckleton (the device can only operate in Feckleton). Turn it to "Plots", and it randomly tunes into anyone who might be plotting something.
With this powerful device, the King could spy on any citizen in the city who might be engaged in any of the four categories. King Crouton, being something of a voyeur, usually tuned the device to "Filth", and spent many a night, bowl of popcorn in hand, watching his citizens get up to all sorts of weird acts (it was with the Spy-O-Matic that King Crouton discovered that Farmer Goodbottom was a bit too fond of his goats).
He used the device for several weeks before his daughter, Princess Olga, found him spying on Chuckles Porkpie (owner of the Spastic Duck Inn) in a heavy petting session with one of his serving wenches. Immediately outraged, she angrily demanded that her father destroy the "disgusting device". As much as King Crouton enjoyed his evenings in front of, as he had begun to call it (for rather salacious reasons) the "Boob Tube", he had grown to fear his daughter's righteous tirades, and agreed. He had the Spy-O-Matic locked up in one of the various Palace Vaults.
Luckily for us, it is now available for our use. Remember, if you spin the dial and get no result, then sadly, there is nothing of the sort currently going on in Feckleton.