Harper and the boys are missing the boat again.
In their midst, or at least on the periphery of their midst, is a virtual genius, a man named Jaffer.
This man has come up with an invention that promises new life for a tired planet. It would uplift the end product of the bowels of all creatures great and small to a whole new level of respect and utilization. So, is the government encouraging this man, setting him up in a lab for more research and offering him a seat in the Senate when the day is done, or almost done?
Nay, not so. Instead of wrapping him in a virtual cocoon and protecting him with their ministerial immunity and dome of confidential silence, the Harper hordes have descended on him like the wrath of Khan. Instead of being held up as a model of creative intelligence who could put Canada on the map, he's being investigated for criminal activity.
The invention? Evidently it's an amazing machine, a kind of super dryer that sucks all the moisture out of kitchen scraps and poop and turns them into an odourless fuel. I haven't been able to discover what the fuel is intended for.
Neither can I find what kind of poop makes the best fuel. I know animals such as cows and sheep produce copious amounts of methane, but I thought that was through belching and passing wind. I did not know all the moisture could be drained out of the solid materials from any animal and fuel of some kind be the result.
Nevertheless, I do see some practical application for research of this kind. There is, for example, the candlemaking industry.
The problem here might be one of colour, which seems to be important to candle aficionados. A large, dirty earthtone in the centre of your dining room table might not be deemed to be appropriate, especially during dinner.
Different shades of dye or food colouring could be used to turn the candle from a dirty intestinal brown to something more attractive. An opaque blue might be seen as desirable, especially among college students. They've been known on occasion to attempt igniting the forcible expulsion of air from the nether regions into a momentary but highly sought after conspicuous burst of flame.
Some kind of perfume is often added to candles to give a pleasant aroma throughout the room, thus adding to the ambience of the evening. Considering the original material from which this particular candle has been fashioned, a good dose of citronella oil or Vicks VapoRub is strongly recommended.
This kind of fuel might also be used as a substitute for kerosene oil. Kerosene is used in everything from a chimney lamp in the little log cabin in the woods, to jet engine fuel. While airplane travel would certainly be much cheaper, the passing of a jet plane taking off directly over the suburbs might be noted not by hands clapped over the ears, but held over the nose.
The article I saw on this subject focused more on friend Jaffer than the remarkable invention which he was supposed to be pushing as a Friend of the Earth. My suspicion is that Mr. Jaffer is more a friend of Mr. Jaffer than a friend of the Earth, but that's neither here nor there.
There is also a suggestion that he is a good friend of Mrs. Jaffer and why wouldn't he be? She's his wife and very attractive. She's also been fired from her cabinet minister's job and kicked out of the Tory caucus for conduct unbecoming anyone.
None of this has the slightest relevance to the main topic here, which is Poop Fuel, a sign you may soon see over your friendly gas bar in addition to Gasoline, Diesel and Propane. I mention the Jaffers here to show that they are being persecuted in a manner reminiscent of communists in the McCarthy era, rather than being treasured and protected for their concern with the greening of the planet.
True, Mr. Jaffer has been accused of pushing his product with members of Parliament when he has no licence to lobby, but I don't think he's in nearly as much trouble as he would be if he were the commander of the Armed Forces base at Trenton.
But back to our poop.
I don't know how this stuff would be handled at the gas pumps. Would it be liquefied and poured in through a nozzle or dumped in with a long, narrow shovel? It would give a whole new meaning to "self service."
Again, I'm not at all sure which kind of poop is being considered as prime fuel material, or if it matters. Not all that stuff is equal, you know. Poop may be seen as a continuum with manure at the high end of the line and excrement at the other. I'm thinking, or perhaps just hoping, that Mr. Jaffer's green machine has more to do with manure than excrement. The latter word holds a faint air of disgust. It's something you step in, rather than a relatively innocuous substance that can be spread on gardens to help your brussels sprouts grow green and strong.
Actually, if I had my way we'd put the disgusting stuff on the sprouts and cauliflower. They deserve each other. We as humans deserve neither in terms of ingesting. I put brussels sprouts, cauliflower and radishes in the same category as the federal Conservative government.
Important as it is, I don't think I want to say any more about this topic at this time. There's a dearth of information about the poop fuel scheme, and altogether too much about Mr. Jaffer. There are are far more important issues in this country than either Mr. Jaffer or poop.
And for all I know, the two may be synonymous.
Ed Smith is an author who lives in Springdale. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harper and the boys are missing the boat again.
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