Bentonville, AR - A former Walmart employee and part-time nutty professor has begun research into alternative uses for the millions of fruitcakes that are returned every December 26th to Walmart. Speaking from the garage of his home on Vista Drive in Bentonville, Wallace Hadnough says that he got the idea of turning used fruitcake into an alternative fuel source when it was his job to throw mounds of the returned fruitcakes into the dumpsters out back. "Man, I'd bring shopping carts full of the stuff out to the dumpsters. I had to start wearing a back brace just to get through the day."
"After about three or four days in them dumpsters, the smell of alcohol was overwhelming," he said. "I got to thinking that if there's that much alcohol in that stuff, I wonder if I could squeeze enough fuel out of it to run my lawnmower."
Hadnough admitted that he comes from a long line of Ozark moonshiners and this was just a natural progression for him.
He piled a bunch of the fruitcakes in the bed of his pickup and brought them back home and he's never looked back. "That was 2 years ago, and I've made enough energy to power my lawnmower, my truck, and a 3500 Watt portable generator. The power companies can kiss my fanny."
Asked what he'll do if companies stop making fruitcake, he answered "heck, that stuff has been around longer than dirt; they'll keep making it and people will keep buying it, re-gifting it, and then throwing it away. It's a holiday tradition. I got everyone in town bringing me their used fruitcakes. In fact, one neighbor had fruitcake in her pantry from 1973 on up," he said. "Gotta love them hoarders."
The only problem he has is his sister Bertha and her two daughters, Nadine and Earline. They love fruitcake and he's got to store it before they get to his house for a visit cause they can go through it pretty fast and the energy they create from the stuff themselves, well "let's just say I could power the generator for a day or two just from Nadine," he chuckled.
Hadnough is searching for financial backers to fine-tune the crude fruitcake still he developed, and he's possibly thinking of mass producing the stills for other folks who've had enough of high energy prices. "With this here still, err 'compact combustible fuel extractor' and about 1,000 fruitcakes a week, I can run my refrigerator and my hot water heater, and the TV just about every day of the week. If I need to run the washer, I just throw a few more fruitcakes in the still and in about 14 hours I've got clean, pure Claxtogas (named for the famous Claxton Fruitcake Co.)
When asked if this is all he's working on, Hadnough answered "heck no. I got an idea of pressing used fruitcakes into compressed logs to use in fireplaces," he said smiling. "There's so much of this stuff out there, it'll take me years to go through what I already have stockpiled and another Christmas is just around the corner."