I’m building a power station

I think it’s the only way out of this infernal power crisis.
No lights? Whatever.
No TV? A minor irritation.

But allowing my beers to get warm? Action needs to be taken.

Sod the Government, the captains of industry and the so-called experts countrywide who all say that there is no quick fix. I think they’re blinkered. If everyone builds their own little power station, we’ll be sorted.

As far as I can remember from my physics lessons at school, all you have to do is make steam (water + heat), turn a turbine and Bob’s your uncle.
For your average Southern Suburber, with a pool (water) and a braai (heat), that’s surely not such a big ask.
Apart from the turbine bit.

I drew a quick diagram and presented it to my wife.  With hindsight, I probably should have put it in Powerpoint with some fancy graphics. The back of Alex’s first school painting was not a good idea.
Still, once I had survived the hormone-driven onslaught of the enraged mother and wiped the blood from the plans, the idea seemed to get a cautious welcome.

“What’s that?” she asked, pointing to a hastily scribbled rectangle.
“That’s the pool.”
She hesitated.
“Well, what’s that then?” she asked, pointing to a second rectangle.
“That’s the braai.”
“And this big space?”
“That’s where the turbine will go.”

It didn’t help that the drawing was not to scale and made it look like the turbine was going to take up most of the garden, turning her beloved lawn yellow and (thankfully) squashing her Fatsia japonica, the ugliest plant in existence and rumoured to be a key part of the nightmare which gave John Wyndham the idea for The Day Of The Triffids.
In actual fact, by my calculations, it would also flatten the neighbours pansies as well. And possibly part of their house. But on the bright side, I could probably generate enough electricity to run the pool pump and my beer fridge. Just about.

“How much will it cost?” she asked, suspiciously.

This was a problem. Although running the unit would be relatively economical, subsisting solely on rooikrans bought from the scary lady in the light blue horsebox in Diep River, the initial capital expenditure was a touch over 300 million Rand. The missus turned a strange shade of crimson when I told her this.
Alert enough to recognise the imminent danger, I ran. Almost quickly enough.

Nursing my wounds at the Fireman’s Arms, where the fridges always work and SuperSport plays 24/7, I was approached by a Iranian dwarf who claimed that he could get me a partly decommissioned Russian nuclear power plant for 10,000 US dollars, three gallons of whipped cream and a night with the Ad Wizard.

I have a feeling that I’m going to have the coldest beers in Cape Town this summer, whatever games Eskom play.

11 thoughts on “I’m building a power station

  1. Love it. That was SO funny.
    Came looking for serious comment on this issue, but very, very glad I found this. Made my day.

  2. How about a bike with a small dynamo up on a stand in the living room? You can keep fit, teach young Alex to ride and have cold beer whilst watching the TV!

  3. Oh my word! I need those plans! My step-dad’s coke needs to be ice cold for his Klippies…and my mother has some really nasty bromeliads that I don’t think he’d miss at all.

    Excellent plan…prepare yourself for the invasion of your ‘friends’ once word gets around that there’s ice-cold beer on tap at the 6k household;)

    Thanks for the laugh hon. I needed it. Check your PM’s for the next installement.

  4. Eff. I going to have to toss that dwarf around a bit for trying to pawn me off on the cheap.

    Also, I’m hoping that the whipped cream and the night out with me are entirely unrelated. (But I’m not counting my chickens on that one.)

    Did I mention I’m lactose intolerant?

  5. Lordall – Serious comment is at: http://6000.co.za/2008/01/18/south-africas-electricity-crisis/ but remember – too much serious comment is really not good for you.

    Sharks4Eva – Glad you enjoyed it. Despite your misguided rugby ideas.

    Delboy – that sounds like a lot of hard work.

    Stan – Does that do it for you?

    Kel – Plans are available for a fat fee…

    Roni – I think that you going bright red, swelling up and farting would only encourage him.

    Koosh – Fireman’s Arms. He’s there most nights. Short guy. Daft accent.

    Phillygirl – Can you afford the diesel?

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