Sunday, October 29, 2006

Intelligent Design; 10 questions to ask your foundation contractor about evolution.

For Immediate Release:

IMBY LABS, with generous financial support from those fine people at The Franklin Mint, announce the successful redesign of the best the foundation engineering world has to offer, the IMT AF-Series Drilling Rig. The new rigs design consolidates gigantic, domesticated, mutant sea lamprey with the same dependable, high quality engineering one comes to depend on from Industria Meccanica Trivelle and Caterpillar.

These monstrous creatures will latch on to the face of the earth and suck the living daylights out of anything in its path without the usual noise and vibration found in our competitors rigs.

Although considered an invasive predator, all of our domesticated lamprey are recent graduates of the Institut Villa Pierrefeus, having successfully completed courses in international etiquette, protocol, and savoir-vivre. IMBY LABS and the IVP together, have over 50 years experience providing young mutant lamprey with the kind of Complete Finishing School Education expected from Switzerland and the rest of the engineering world.

In order to raise necessary capital, commemorative chotchkies honoring the discovery are to be issued to the public in an unlimited supply starting next month, in time for the holidays.

"The fortuitous meeting of an IMT AF-80 Drilling Rig and a Gigantic, Mutant, Sea Lamprey in a Brooklyn Sandbox."

If my son were a few years older, no doubt he would challenge me with hypothetical engineering questions like, "Dad, what's better...A giant, iron, robotic sea lamprey or, a giant, mutant, flesh and bone, living, breathing, sea lamprey, when it comes to installing 60' steel foundation pilings in residential neighborhoods."
I would of course scratch my chin first, and then answer his question with another question in a way that corrects his small factual error without hurting his feelings.

"Son...I would say, this giant sea lamprey, would it be fastened somehow to the Kelly Bar of a drilling rig, cause I don't believe you could use a pile driver. Sea Lamprey don't have any actual bones to speak of, just soft flexible cartilage."

My son would be impressed by my off the cuff, improvisational knowledge of sea lamprey anatomy. For those of you who know me and my mind intimately, you will agree that my brain functions like a well oiled piece of brain-shaped chicken wire, sifting through this "grand litter box of a universe", separating out crucial nuggets of truth from inconsequential, everyday detritus. for use at some later time. If you don't mind adding an additional metaphor into the mix, my brain is a Venus Fly Trap where tiny thoughts are held captive, bathed in acidic juices until they can be enzymatically digested over a period of 5 to 12 days.

Most of my recent reasonin' skills have been forged in the fiery-furnaces of the 9th Street Playground. More specifically the sandbox. That's where I do my best thinking. (The big curly-que slide is no place for daydreamers like me.) The sandbox is good place to settle all manner of what-ifs. OK, maybe not settle, but you could at least hash out all the details.
Note to parents of small children: Please don't allow your no-neck monsters to bring their "good toys" to the sand box. Leave them at home. Use the left over lost and found toys. It's disruptive and brings a kind of Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of balance atmosphere to the sand box that throws off my concentration. Especially that kid with the brand-new plastic shovel and pail with the word "MINE" written on the sides. It's not easy for two year olds to find out that sharing is not always caring.

"So this giant mechanical sea lamprey, it would have some system of checks and balances?"
"Would it be able to learn from its mistakes?" "Would it be remote controlled or have an internal driver?" I'd ask.

By this time, my Son would already know I'm favoring the idea of using an actual living, giant mutant, domesticated, sea lamprey. "You would never need to worry about 'down time' spent searching for non existing replacement parts. There really isn't any great need for 'aftermarket' lamprey robotic repair parts in the United States, just yet, Son."

I see nothing but headaches with the mechanical lamprey plan. Of course you may be able to reverse engineer one in China and then after a few years smuggle it back through Bayonne, NJ in several boxes labeled "Farm Implements".

"Fish one right out of the Gowanus Canal"
, I'd say. "What could be easier than that."

Compromises and win/win scenarios.

So my Son and I decide maybe the best route to take would be to use technology recently stolen from the Borg to combine fish flesh with the super strength of Ginsu steel--- To recombine a lamprey's mouth parts with that of off-the-self drill bits available at most heavy duty construction stores. We would of coarse need some kind of retro-fitted proprietary bracket that hooks up to the already existing mast of the very reliable IMT AF-Series drilling rig. Those details could be worked out at a later date. It' s now past dinner time and we have got to get home and take our hypothetical baths.

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