Blackpool, UK - A man who sells sputum for the purposes of conversion to biofuel has been charged with improper storage of a noxious substance. The man, 52 year-old Clayton Sproule of Blackpool, has pleaded no contest on this offence but not guilty on several other offences.
Explains Mr. Sproule, "...I struck on the idea of collecting sputum as there seems to be an endless supply of people that come in from the countryside, sit on the boardwalk benches and proceed to expectorate from dawn 'til dusk. It's a tremendous resource that goes wasted, sputum is."
Although the process is done by hand and can be backbreaking work, Mr. Sproule continues to do it mostly by himself.
"I have a few part-timers, but they're only there to help filter out the impurities. They hold up the cheesecloth while I scoop the sputum in."
The problem, from the government's standpoint, and as reflected in the charges, is that Mr. Sproule has failed in his collection and storage regimen.
"It's an open and shut case really," remarked Chief Inspector Hambly. "He's collected all this sputum, somewhere in the range of twenty tons, and he hasn't found a bloody market for it. So while he looks for someone to buy this stuff, allegedly for conversion to biofuels, we've got these huge, literally huge flows of sputum leaking out of these drums down to the seaside and frightening the children and pets as they play. It's a disgrace."
While he does acknowledge that he's had difficulty finding a buyer, Mr. Sproule remains optimistic. "I had a biofuel expert fella come in from New York who was willing to cart the stuff away in one go, but that all fell through when he realized he could get the same tax write-offs through carbon credits rather than actually having to produce biofuels himself. Besides, my chalk drawings on how to do this properly didn't seem to impress him that much."
Although Mr. Sproule has no background in chemical engineering, he did pass with one O-level in science and an A-level in home economics. His wife, Enid, does the bookkeeping.
"If the biofuels thing doesn't pan out, I may just have to hope for a renaissance in papier mache," Mr. Sproule wistfully concluded.
In the meantime, a visiting Canadian with a large duct tape collection has offered to help with the leak.