When I was a kid, there were only two kinds of batteries: car batteries and flashlight batteries. Both of these, my granddad assured me, were temporary fixes while they figured out how to make cars and flashlights work on real electricity.
Not realizing my granddad was messing with me, I accepted his assurance as fact, although I did wonder how long a cord you’d need if you took your car on a really long vacation.
Fast forward to nowadays. If it moves, lights up, or makes fart sounds it runs on batteries, and if it doesn’t it probably will by the time I finish this sentence.
A Tesla Model S runs on 6,800 of them, each about the size of the AA that powers your nose hair trimmer. That’s more batteries than Aspen has people, although still not enough to get you from L.A. to Las Vegas, even driving at fifty-five with the radio off. Given that Britney is booking more and more Vegas dates it’s a sure bet Tesla’s working on that.
About the only electrics that don’t take batteries these days are light bulbs and refrigerators. Tesla’s been working on that too and will be happy to sell you a wall-mounted gizmo that looks like a boogie board and will power everything in your house.
But despite the proliferation of arguably useful battery-operated stuff like cell phones and remote-controlled motorized golf trolleys, there’s evidence that China’s top engineers are jumping the shark with increasing regularity. For example, whilst perusing the Sharper Image website I discovered the following:
- An illuminated LED canoe paddle designed to insure safe boating at night on heavily trafficked creeks.
- A bluetooth digital tape measure from which you can transmit the length of your w**tever to a spreadsheet on your iPhone (I’m holding out for the official Anthony Weiner autograph version). And finally,
- Lightsaber BBQ tongs that make sound effects just like Darth Vader’s weapon of choice and allow you to “turn your meat… to the dark side.”
Of course, the most egregious invention ever to run on batteries is Furby. Should you doubt this I invite you to watch the following video. Federal law requires me to caution you that viewing it may prove disturbing and have long-term effects on your sleep.
© 2016 Ron Dulaney