By Richard E. Noble
“Hey! I got this great idea. It’s a way to put light into everybody’s house.”
What’s the matter with candles?
“Candles are messy, and they cost a lot of money.”
Well what about Coleman lanterns, or oil lamps?
“They’re sloppy and can be dangerous.”
Well, what is your idea?
“I’m going to call it electricity.”
Really? How does it work?
“Well, when I get everything set up, all that you are gonna have to do is flip a switch, and you will have light all over your house if you want.”
How do you get it set up?
“Well first, I block off all the rivers in the United States with giant damns, and then I put in these monster turbines. These turbines have magnets and stuff in them and they produce electricity. I store this electricity in these giant power stations that I have set up all over the country. Then I cut down about four hundred million trees. I peel the bark off these trees and soak them in creosote. Then I stick one of these trees in front of every house in America. Then I take these high tension wires and I run them from tree to tree all over the country. I run wires from each of these trees to each of the houses, and then I wire the houses. I stuff wires into all of the walls of all of the houses in America, and I rig them all up with control boxes and fuse thing-ees, and switches on all of the walls. Then I crank up the turbines at the damns, and the coal and nuclear power stations that I’ve put up where there are no damns. Then I charge everybody money to hook up to the electric, and wammo! I’m a multi-billionaire.”
Wow, that’s a real good Idea Elroy; and after that why don’t you import twenty million Chinamen and equal number of starving Irishmen, cut down the rest of the forests in America and start building wooden tracks from one end of the country to the other; blast your way through mountains, build bridges over all of the rivers, make track connections at every small town in the U.S. of A. and invent a railroad with giant engines that pull a hundred coal cars from one end of the country to another.
“Oh come on, now you are just being silly.”