We're Americans and we're beefy. We're the country that not only invented the Twinkie, we're the guys that found a way to deep fry 'em. We're overfed, we're porked up, we're plus-sized Daddies. We also use a disproportionate share of the world's energy, which leads my creative and sometimes warped engineer's mind to thoughts of Bio-Diesel:

Bio-Diesel is the Granola name for a collection of alkyl esters made from the fatty acids found in vegetable oil, animal fat or ... us.

So why can't we pump some of these Spandex-wearing Wal-Mart waddling monsters for fuel?

I'm thinking harvest the jiggly bits off people who'd really like to be shed of it, filter it, heat it, and react it with methanol and a hydroxide catalyst. Centrifuge to separate the alkyl esters from the glycerols (use 'em for soap!) and you've got All-American Corn-and-Twinkie-Fed Bio-Diesel. There's enough beef oscillating around the mountains to make a serious dent in our oil imports. The Saudis may have the proven reserves, but we've got Fuel In Spandex on the hoof and wandering around Wal-Mart looking for deals. Take that Bin Laden! Big butts for Industry! It's Green. It's Safe. It's Fashionable: "200 Horsepower now comes in Size Six." What's not to like? It's better than driving a hybrid: lose more weight than cycling to work and still drive like a maniac, talking on your cell phone.

You could stand in the Ellijay Wal-Mart, and pass out coupons for free liposuction. Get people to sign up to both remove the unwanted tonnage _and_ collect a renewable energy tax credit. What could be more American? Al Gore might even find a way to trade ass for carbon emissions vouchers.

Looking at the covers of magazines in the Ingles checkout, and looking at the people who buy them, I see a huge fuel opportunity combined with a way to make people feel better about themselves. What could be more politically correct than that?

If you want to look like Claudia Schiffer, but currently weigh enough to overgross a Chevy Suburban, this could be a godsend: "I lost two hundred pounds and contributed 90 kilowatt-hours of clean, green electric power to the American grid ... Thanks Jenny Craig!"

Copyright 2007 Greg Richter / IFR Music