*A reprint from 2009, and a suggestion for last minute Christmas shoppers who are looking for something they can't find. This is definitely one of those. Sixth in the series of three *suspended disbelief* products by Bonco, almost ready for your gift giving needs this holiday season...and yes, we know we can't count. Please note the *suspended disbelief*
"Necessity is the mother of invention" -- Plato.
An intellectually stimulating way to start a column about the newest product in development by the folks at Bonco, UnInc., the same folks who brought you useful* things like the ABDOMINATION-IZER, PHFFFT Asure, and the EZ-Nav One!
"What mothuh thought it necessary to invent THIS?" -- me.
A back-to-reality way to prepare you for the rest of the story.
While winter's in the air, spring isn't all that far off, and with spring comes that itch to get to gardening, farming, etc. Of course, for any kind of agricultural activity to be successful, Ma Nature's benevolent cooperation is always a plus.
One can assume that benevolence, but as Captain Queeg loved to observe, you can't assume a gawddang thing about the Navy, Ma Nature, or much else in life. One ill-timed visit by mesocyclonic supercell thunderstorms, and those waves of amber grain, so laboriously sown, are reduced to the botanical equivalent of Kenny on South Park.
Without this in mind, I and a couple Bonco technicians were re-watching a pathetically laughable scene from the movie Twister: the scene where two stormchasers had just sacrificed his new truck with a jury-rigged tornado laboratory aboard, to an F-5 tornado in a cornfield. And just as the two 'chasers were pondering finding a Motel 6 to celebrate, the twister shifts track, and begins harvesting corn in their direction.
Before I could comment on the abject absurdity of the scene -- a real F-5 would have run them both down in seconds -- I saw the lightbulb of sudden inspiration appear and explode over the head of one of the techs.
This was an "uh-oh" moment, if ever I saw one.
Well, after months of secret research and design, the brains at Bonco are ready to let me in on their latest endeavor: one that brings together an invention of Man, a mother of a natural monstrosity, the necessity of Nature, and the thoroughly ludicrous notion that Bonco can somehow combine the three into a controlled, benevolent, productive invention, user-friendly and agriculturally viable.
They call it The Cyclonic Harvester by Bonco.
I call it the equivalent of a porcupine enema at 150 mph. Not sure which could prove worse.
On a restricted access** preserve in NE Colorado, the (mad) scientists at Bonco have been raising crops -- and then razing crops -- in a Pyrrhic effort to train fauxnados (the laboratory equivalents to the real things), in the intricacies of the harvest. Yes, that's right: they are training one of Ma Nature's most random and savage leviathans, to harvest and deliver crops for the benefit of Mankind.
The theory they labor under -- that of it they revealed to me -- is that, like in the movie Jurassic Park, if a fauxnado is artificially conceived under lab conditions, upon birth it will 'bond' with it's creator. In this case, a flock of lab-coated, absent-minded professor types. And from this first 'bonding', the transformation from awesome natural force of destruction, to benevolent, Man-loving contributor for the greater good, can be crafted.
I seem to recall a different result from the aforementioned movie -- the hatchlings tried to eat their creators -- but my negative waves weren't buying any second-thought capital at this point.
While Bonco won't discuss the patented*** and highly technical details of how they've managed to delu..er..achieve the uncredible progress they claim thus far, unnamed and scattered sources have revealed some..er...'pre-production issues' on the road to marketing. For example:
- a novice F-3 that was assigned to harvest, bale and stack a 200 acre field of hay. Net result: they found only some of the baling twine. 70 miles away, in Nebraska.
- when a gifted F-4 successfully harvested and shucked 100 acres of seed corn; it then got cornfused, and offloaded the shucked cobs into and through the designated holding structures, while decorating and perforating property outbuildings over two successive counties with billions of imbedded kernels. Litigation pending.
- an eager and willing but clumsy F-3, had to be told, via a rather pricey tornado whisperer, to put down the farm house, gently, and back away carefully. It didn't work, and the F-3 is now in therapy. What's left of the house is in Kansas.
- a rather immature F-2 that simply couldn't resist levitating and playing dominos with dairy cows on a nearby farm, and is now on time-out (how they're managing that, they're not saying and I'm not buying).
- lastly, there is another unanticipated problem: the "call of the wild" effect. When a real tornado happens by (and here, May-July, it can be often), the human-friendly assimilative training the fauxnados undergo is mildly**** undermined. A tornado is, after all, hardwired to roam free and at random, scattering terra firma and mobile homes like a bored cat does with pieces on a gaming board. A fauxnado, though man-made and at least as smart as a politician, still operates from a similar meteorological dynamic template.
To paraphrase Dr. Ian Malcolm, "Nature finds a way".
Ever undeterred by technical setbacks, pick-ups, unsubtle put-downs, warnings and lots of debris, the Bonco folks are determined to have their Cyclonic Harvester ready for the annual Farm Implements and Technologies Show***** in Omaha, NE, in the spring of 2012.
Omaha, I've given you all the warning you'll ever need.
* a claim/allegation yet to be substantiated in a lab or court
** like an asylum, families can come and visit the inmates at the 'preserve', too. Few have; small wonder why..
**** more like humongus...
***** Disclaimer: if Bonco, UnInc., sets up a booth at the aforementioned show, it is hoped that the folks running the show have the sense to have Bonco conduct demonstrations of the Cyclonic Harvester at a site well away from the show, the city, and any populations. After all, we ARE dealing with a product that combines innovative technology with a force of Nature that, er, isn't easily amused with or corralled by innovative technology. Bonco only guarantees that the results of using the Cyclonic Harvester will be, in the words of one survivor, "absolutely f***ing stupdefying". FTC Disclaimer: no recompense of any kind changed hands at this stage of development; one of these Cyclonic Harvesters experiencing 'technical difficulties' could have all sorts of appendages changing geographic locations, but that's for future litigation and storm chasers to sort out.
Labels: agriculture, Bonco, FTC, harvesting, humor, litigation, parody, phffffffffffffft, tornados