Happy April Fool's Day. In celebration, I am participating in the Pittsburgh Guest Blogger Event! Today’s post comes from Valentine Brkich of Small-Town Dad, and is part of a special day of shenanigans from other Pittsburgh Bloggers. You can see my post over on West of Mars, where I am talking about how my parents helped me love books, and how my birthday wish is to pass that love of books on to the children in my community.
It’s all over the news. Marcellus shale. “Fracking.” The booming natural gas and oil industries. Western PA is on the verge of an energy revolution, one that could bring in billions of dollars to the local economy. The thing is, not everyone’s convinced it’s safe for our environment.
I have another solution to our energy problems. And it’s one that doesn’t involve digging or fracking or any of that stuff: my 4-year-old son.
The boy is a walking, talking, limitless source of clean, renewable energy. I know this because from the moment he opens his eyes in the morning until he falls asleep at night he’s hopping, skipping, jumping, rolling, running, bouncing, bounding, climbing, crawling, stomping, sliding, and shuffling all over God’s creation. And best of all, other than the occasional toot or burp, there’s little or no harmful emissions.
Even when he’s sitting, like at the dinner table, my son is incapable of stillness. He constantly shuffles around in his seat, switching from his bum to his knees to his feet and back again. One second he's in his chair, the next he’s on my lap, or on top of the table, or underneath it. Ironically, the only thing he’s not doing is eating.
Bedtime is the only time we can get the kid to stop moving, and we usually have to put him down with a tranquilizer gun. Just kidding! We don’t even own a tranquilizer gun.
NyQuil works just fine.
What’s funny is I used to have energy like that myself. No matter how much I ran or how far I rode my BMX, I always wanted to keep moving and playing. I’d never tired. Now, by the end of the day I’m completely drained, even though all I did was sit on my tuckus all day, first in my car, then at work, then in my car again, then at dinner, and afterwards in front of the tube.
I guess Newton was right: An object in motion tends to stay in motion, while an object at rest tends to fall asleep on the couch around 8:30.
If there was some way to harness my son’s youthful exuberance, we could forget about all this fracking nonsense and instead tap into his seemingly endless supply of preschool power. Of course we’d want to make sure to only use his excess energy for good. Otherwise the results could be disastrous. Those of you who’ve seen my living room know what I mean.
A simple solution would be to construct some sort of kid-sized hamster wheel that produced electricity. But then, of course, we’d have to find a place to put it, and I’m a little foggy on the laws as far as child-powered electric generators go.
If only I could invent some type of synthetic fabric that captures kinetic energy and stores it for later use! I could come out with a whole line of kiddie clothing for over-active kids like my son. Think about it: At the end of the day you’d just take off your kid’s pants, plug them into some device that would extract all the stored up energy, and then use that energy to power all the lights in your home.
Or, in our case, every household in our zip code.
But alas, I’m just a lowly writer. I’ll have leave it to some electrical engineer to devise a way to capture my son’s excess energy before he burns it all up and grows into another lazy, unmotivated, energy-deficient adult.
Not that I know anyone like that. ~
Written by Valentine J. Brkich. You can read more nonsense like this over at this blog, smalltowndad.com.