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My First Sample Newspaper Interview
Rubbish Retrofitter Makes Good Garbage
Did you ever wonder where they come from? You know who I mean—those mid-level executives that suddenly barge into our collective consciousness with some newfangled invention or breathtaking discovery? Well, we found one who comes from right here in northwestern Pennsylvania, and we’d like to share his story with you.
Eugene Pennington is not your average overachiever. In fact, he’s been turning garbage into profit ever since he was in grade school. Eugene is a rubbish retrofitter, converting ordinary castoffs into valuable commodities.
“It’s just something I’ve always been interested in,” says Eugene. “When I was a kid I used to turn in used cans for cash, but it took hundreds of Coke cans just to make enough to support my baseball card habit. The profit margin was unacceptable.” Eugene explains that he had to come up with a more efficient business model.
“Garbage is everyone’s business. I just thought it would make more sense to treat it as an input to a process, rather than a by-product.” This led to Eugene’s first patent, for a machine that extracts the main ingredient in formaldehyde from the rinds of common vegetables.
“It was simple,” says the inventor. “By introducing a mono-nucleic derivative into a saline bath, the rinds’ molecular structure is excited, causing covalent bonds to form almost instantly.” Eugene says the result is a frothy mix that spells profit.
“The industry is always looking for new sources of formaldehyde,” he says. “The whole rind idea just seemed like the most obvious approach. I can’t believe no one else ever came up with it.”
In his most recent effort, Eugene has hit a snag. When asked about this he laughs it off, but it is obviously a source of some irritation.
“When I applied for a patent for my corn husk-based tractor emissions filter, the U.S. Patent office was skeptical,” says Eugene. “But I showed them. It took five months to get there, and I had to drive all the way on back roads, but my tractor made it all the way to Washington, D.C., and with less than half the pollution from similar tractors.”
When asked whether he was granted the patent, Eugene only smiles.
“No, but I did get some other papers.” He shows me a traffic ticket from our nation’s capital.
Maybe he can convert that into something.
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