The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

THE GOLDEN WAVE OF THE FUTURE: I read in the New York Times recently, and if you can’t trust what you read in the New York Times then what’s the whole point of living, I mean really, what’s the point, that a group of scientists and engineers in Singapore have invented an electric battery that runs on human urine. Yes, you read that right, the battery uses urine as a power source. The battery also runs on sweat, saliva, and semen, although the whole concept of getting semen into a battery without the cops showing up to haul you away for public indecency leads me to suspect that we won’t be seeing the semen powered battery on the market anytime soon. In any case, of the three excretions, urine is the most efficacious as well as the most abundant. The designers plan to power small electromedical devices like glucose monitors and hearing aids with their battery at first, but they have plans of designing a urine battery to operate laptops, washing machines, and dishwashers in the near future.

It’s not everyday you see a revolution announced in the New York Times or see the revolution get such prominent treatment in it pages. After all, the Times, in its infinite journalistic wisdom, buried the story of Dr. Pincus and his invention of the birth control pill somewhere in the middle of the A section, no doubt at the top of a page dominated by an ad for Saks Fifth Avenue, thereby completely missing the beginning of the sexual revolution. Not this time, however; this time the Times announced the coming revolution in the Sunday magazine section, where tens of thousands of people could see the future for themselves. Yes, the future is upon us, and yet, for the most part, we fail to see it. This nation’s reliance on unreliable foreigners and their petroleum is almost over, and we did not have to disturb a cormorant or discomfit a caribou in order to achieve our energy independence. No, indeed, all we will have to do is look out for number one.

There will be some problems, obviously, in gearing up for this new era of energy independence; this is a battery technology and there will be some old-new technology hybrids along the way as we move ever forward into the bright new world of tomorrow. The urine hybrid automobile, for example, might use the driver’s urine to run the battery and then shift to a standard internal combustion engine when the supply of urine to the battery ran low. Such a hybrid also assumes the creation of a new fueling infrastructure along the nation’s roads and highways, with special pumps located near the rest rooms for the convenience of the hybrid car drivers. The car buyer of the future may even have their choice between male and female versions of the same model hybrid automobile, given that a man would find refueling the battery of such an automobile while driving much easier than a woman would. The women’s rights movement would no doubt find this sexist to the nth degree, and may even sue to prevent such automobiles from coming on the market, or at the very least demand that the automobile industry design a car that could accommodate both male and female drivers. This would not be the easiest thing in the world to do, biology being what it is. However much the feminists may choose to deny basic anatomy, the fact remains that men can urinate into a tube while driving much easier than a woman can. This may even stimulate an interest in kilts as the uniform of choice for long distance truckers.

The benefits to the American economy would be massive, the new technology creating in its wake vast new numbers of jobs in the plumbing supply industry. Control of the fixtures market, especially the vital urinal market, would be up for grabs, with wildcatters, Silicon Valley types, and who knows what other geniuses going for the golden gusto. Business magazines would trumpet the call of the new markets available and hortatory articles would appear about the men and women who saw the technology and its possibilities and started battery and plumbing supply companies in their garages. The terms Battery Alley and Porcelain Valley would be as familiar on the lips of stockjobbers on Wall Street as Silicon Valley and Leavenworth are today. The importance of this market to all aspects of life here in our Great Republic will be so great that no one today can possibly comprehend it, and in the future the federal government, mindful of national security concerns, will have to strictly control the export of American urinals to foreign countries lest some of them fall into the wrong hands.

Big Oil, of course, will not go gently into that good night. They will try to stifle the new technology, but they will fail in the end; the market will stop their nefarious plotting cold. With an ever-growing demand for energy in China and India and the rest of the developing world, no one will pay the near extortionate prices for Middle Eastern oil when urine is so much more available and cheaper to boot. No, we’d have to stop complaining about Big Oil after the eventual triumph of the urine-powered battery. The battery makers would be the new economic villains, replacing the oil companies and Bill Gates as the objects of economic scorn and loathing. The big drug companies would come in for their share of the vitriol as well, as their control of the now strategic diuretics market would determine who could and could not get to work in the morning. Coffee companies, beer brewers, and soft drink manufacturers would all do well in the new economic dispensation. In fact, the new batteries would power a computer in a car engine capable of determining just how much beer you’ve had to drink and refuse to operate if there was too much alcohol in your urine, saving the lives of thousands of people who would have otherwise died in automobile accidents. Yes, a bright new future awaits us all, courtesy of those Singaporean gentlemen and their technical breakthrough, this key to the future, this battery that just needs us to keep going and going and going. And to think you saw the revolution announced in the New York Times, of all places; will wonders never cease?


  • At 11:04 AM, Blogger Tat said…

    Somehow it's easier to imagine urine-supply highway stations than the world without the feminists. Nice to see the tradition of amusingly near-sighted sci-fi of Herbert Wells didn't die.

    akaky, I have a business proposition for you: my design skills and technical proficiency in all matters plumbing and your nose for innovation (forgive this bad pun) and enterpreneurial opportunity are bound to make us rich beyond even happy liitle burg's dreams. What d'ya say, pardner?

  • At 9:50 AM, Blogger Kim du Toit said…

    ...except you can expect to see Big Oil buying out Big Water -- going for a little vertically-integrated production.

    Even the Euros will get into the battle to control the global pre-urine supply.

    Elf/Perrier vs. Exxon/Ozarka.

    Can't wait.

  • At 4:49 PM, Blogger Semper Fi said…

    Just what the elves ordered for Christmas -- a bit of appropriate levity in an otherwise crazed world of Defeatocrats and "loose lips sink ships" MSM.

    Thank you and Merry Christmas!

  • At 1:41 AM, Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said…

    That one is priceless! Thank you very mach, Akaky, and merry Christmas to you and yours!

  • At 6:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Cop: You been drinking buddy?
    Driver: Just a couple offisher *hic*
    Cop: Well sport, you'll never get home on that, have another beer

    On a slightly more serious note, most oil goes for chemical and pharmaceutical feedstocks, plastics and lubricants. I work in the industry, and I havent done a refinery in nearly twenty years, but lots of chemical plants.


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