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Archive for January, 2011

Note from Fredrick: For this story, John’s 1957 Austin-Healy taught me some British slang which came in very useful. I extend a special thanks to Chris who is a Liverpool native who moved to the States to marry Laura Mulcahy for his thoughtful editing of the slang. To assist my readers, there is a British slang glossary at the end of the story.

Well bugger me, this world is barmy. John turned on the wireless in my garage and those BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) newsmen were yakking and waffling on for hours. Then, an article caught my undivided attention with a subject matter that gave me aggro, especially for buses like me who value burning fossil fuels. Those hoity toity Brits converted a VW Beetle to run on methane gas. Whoever produces that gas takes the biscuit.

Yonks ago, shortly after WWII, the Brits resurrected the Wolfsburg, Germany VW factory and commenced manufacturing Beetles. That was a brill move. But this latest development is just not right. A British company called GENeco, which is a subsidiary of Wessex Water, is the brains behind the latest VW Beetle prototype. GENeco genned up on how to produce methane gas. Now this is when you need to sit down before you read any further. Wessex Water is a sewage treatment company. Yeah, that’s right, sewage. I’m not talking about chicken, hogs, turkey, or cows; but human sewage. So, you ask, what does crap have in common with cars? The answer, until today, was nothing, and that is the way it should remain.

Those stodgy ole Brits took a VW Beetle that ran perfectly fine on fossil fuels and converted it to burn methane gas. Oh, yeah, they are SO green and think they are God’s gift to Mother Nature. But this is sick. They take raw human feces and release what they call bugs, which are really bacteria, into the mess. Why not rubbish instead? Then the Brits think they are SO cute that they market the idea by stating, “Bugs make the Bug Go.” Well, they better not try this with VW buses because we have higher standards than Beetles.

They predict that bogs from 70 households can power a vehicle for 10,000 miles. That is a lot of biggies! Okay, so one car requires biggies from 70 households. In the good old U.S. of A. one household owns on average 1.8 cars. Unlike humans, who use their fingers and toes to count, I used my tires to count the vehicles at Burnt Oaks. One tire: Moni’s Lexus; second tire: John’s Prius; third tire: Austin Healy; and, most importantly, me, for a total of four. Oh, I almost forgot, there is a Massey Ferguson tractor. My spare tire came in handy to count up to five. I asked John to help me with the math, and we estimated that our family drives 30,000 miles per year, which would require approximately 210 households of bog wastes and a bunch of flushes. Any road, just where are all the biggies going to come from?

On the wireless, the Brits stated in their uppity accent, “By jolly, the Beetle ran like a bomb, reaching 114 miles per hour.”

Well, what are they trying to prove – that they can outrun Al Gore’s son in a Toyota Prius? As a VW bus, I don’t understand why anybody must travel over 60 mph. What is the big hurry anyway? The first opportunity I get to pull up beside a Dung Beetle I will yell out my window, “You are full of biggies!” Those twee Beetles won’t be so smug after that.

Well, I accept that the world needs to find an alternative to burning fossil fuels. And I predict that the “green” purists will be biting your arm off to purchase a biggie-powered car; it has potential to be a blinding success. I bet the sticker price will be dear.

Well, I wish the Best of British to GENeco and Wessex Water, but just leave my engine alone. John better ring Chris and tell him to never let the Bates heirs convert me to biggie power.

British Slang Glossary

Aggro:   Short for aggravation or trouble

Any Road:   Used instead of anyway

Barmy:   Gone mad or crazy

Best of British:   Good luck

Biggie:   What a child calls his poop

Bite Your Arm Off:   Some one is excited to get some thing

Blinding:   Fantastic

Bog:   Toilet

Bomb:   Going really well or really fast

Brill:   Brilliant

Bugger:   A nicer word to use instead of the S*** or F-word

Dear:   Expensive

Gen Up:   To research a subject

Ring:   To make a phone call

Rubbish:   Trash or garbage

Taking the Biscuit:   American equivalent of “takes the cake”

Twee:   dainty or quaint

Waffle:   To talk on and on about nothing

Yakking:   Talking incessantly

Yonks:   No seen for ages

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