Way back in 1752, when Benjamin Franklin tied a key to a kite string and discovered electricity, little did he know how his modest experiment would change the world. It’s only been 268 years (a mere a pimple on the ass of time) since that eventful day, yet we can’t begin to imagine how different life would be without the benefit of that source of energy.
But let’s try.
Let’s start with getting out of bed in the morning, something the majority of us take for granted. If you’re young and still a member of the work force, you do it at exactly the same time each day, thanks to an alarm clock—powered by electricity. But, without electricity you’d have to rely upon a mechanical alarm clock. And what if you forgot to wind it? You’d have to wait for the sun, or the rooster next door, to wake you. Then, you’d strike a match, light a candle, and off you’d go to greet the day.
There’d probably be no morning shower, of course, because you would’t have time to get a fire started to heat the kettle or two of water necessary for that little convenience. No electric water heater, of course. But, if you’re a man with an average supply of testosterone, you’d probably want to shave. Most of you use an electric razor. Oh, sure, you might resort to shaving cream and a blade once or twice a month, but it’s the vibrating head that gets the job done mostly. Okay, you’d skip the shave.
No surprise, you’d be hungry. So you’re not a big breakfast guy (or gal)? Fine, just a cup of java and a slice of toast will do to get you on your way to work. Oops, without electricity there’d be no Keurig machine, so you’d have to boil the water on the gas range to power your percolator, and you’d have to toast the bread in the gas oven. But how would you light the gas? Without an electric spark, you’d have to get out a box of matches to get those flames burning.
There’d be no battery to help start your car’s engine, so you’d have to get it running by turning the hand crank. Oh, wait, there’d be no car either, because there’d be no electrical spark to ignite the fuel to power the engine. You’d probably have to ride a horse, or use a horse-powered buggy, to get to work. And to think, you haven’t even left the property yet. See what I mean? I think you’ll have admit that things would be pretty bleak without electricity’s contribution to our way of life.
So, the next time you want to tell someone to “go fly a kite,” you might want to bite your tongue and reconsider your choice of words. Instead, think of some other clever thing to say. After all, we do owe an awful lot to flying a kite. Eh, Ben?