Saturday, 31 May 2008

Linda Crabb was carpooling home from work in downtown Baltimore Maryland with four coworkers when everything came to a screeching halt on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

"Five days a week I have to put up with the nonsense of start and stop downtown traffic and then this over utilized bridge," she thought. "Maybe I should get a job that I can telecommute to every day." However, being the master baker in a pretzel factory doesn't lend itself to using a home computer very well! But what if there was a device that allowed the ultimate in telecommuting! After all doesn't Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock use a transporter device on every rerun episode of Star Trek? The cell phone was the ultimate consequence of Enterprise's personal communicators.

Finally arriving at home Linda yelled for her husband King, but got no response. Oh, this is King's bowling night and he wouldn't be home till after midnight. (The kids were both off at college.) Pouring herself a cup of coffee, Linda headed for her husbands workshop. King had every tool known to man and then some, including lots of electronic goodies. King being an Electronic Engineer, he did literally bring his work home from the office.

Four hours later Linda emerged from the workshop carrying two strange looking contraptions, one slightly wider than the other, made up of lots of wires and electronic components. Each transporter device fitted around Linda. Now we need to test this Gizmo, Linda thought, as she connected the wider Transporter Unit to the telephone outlet on the wall. She picked up the phone and called her younger sister Brenda in Annapolis Maryland and asked if she wanted company. Brenda said are you crazy to drive back across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to see me, especially with the price of gasoline being so high? Not to worry, Linda told her sister, be there in a jiffy, but don't hang up the phone.

When Brenda saw her sister materialize in the kitchen of her house, with a Gizmo strapped around her body, she almost fainted at the sight of her sister standing there. Linda gave Brenda the second smaller Transporter Unit to connect it up to their home phone system. Linda hung up the phone, put on the second Transporter Unit, dialed her own phone number, said bye Sis and disappeared. After Linda beamed home, Brenda leaked the story to the press.

When the Crabb's arose the next morning to go to work their front lawn was covered with Major Network remote TV trucks of every description and size, print media reporters and cable news network camera crews. King asked Linda if something had happened in the neighborhood last evening, as she was asleep when he got home. Linda looked perplexed and said she didn't know, as I went to my sisters last night for a few minutes. King looked at his wife as if she had two heads and muttered something about high gasoline prices. King said lets get dressed, put on some coffee for the visitors and then go outside to find out what's going on!

All the reporters yelled at once, as the couple stepped out onto their front lawn. "Linda did you invent a transporter device?" King again looked perplexed as Linda answered yes and thought she's been in my workshop. After two hours of questions from the media, King held up his hand and asked if there were people other than media reporters who had questions. A resounding yes was heard and one by one each special interest group posed their queries.

The Engineers/Physicists from MIT, Stanford University and CCNY wanted to know how the transporter device overcame the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principal, did not violate Einstein's theory about exceeding the speed of light, obeyed the laws of Quantum Mechanics and was related to String Theory? Additionally, was the Transporter Unit subject to problems like those encountered in the movie "The Fly"?

The Telecommunications Company executives wanted to know if the transporter device harmed the telephone network, would there be traffic congestion on the phone network, would existing switching centers be overloaded such that new switching hubs are needed, and could they have exclusive manufacturing rights for the Transporter units?

The Environmentalists wanted to know if the transporter device was green, could use alternate energy sources, did not pollute, did no harm the Polar Bear and did not have a depleted photon problem that caused global swarming?

The Geologists wanted to know if the transporter device would cause a plethora of US citizens to move to warm climates like Hawaii, the Gulf coast, both the Atlantic (for example Florida) and Pacific coasts and telecommute to an from their current jobs? Additionally, would the weight of all these additional people and houses cause earthquakes that result in the coastal states breaking off and becoming islands?

The Real Estate Company Executives wanted to know if the transporter device would cause a drop in cold climate real estate values, while increasing Hawaii, Sunbelt and warm coastal area real estate values?

The Federal, State and Local Governments wanted to know if the transporter device violated any Interstate Commerce laws, was subject to Anti-Trust laws, should be taxed and should be government regulated as a public utility?

The Energy Company Executives wanted to know if the transporter device used more energy than carpooling to work or employing public transportation vehicles? Just on rumor alone of a Transporter Unit being invented, crude oil prices dropped to $25 a barrel.

The Trial Lawyers Association Representative wanted to know if the transporter device was dangerous and open to frivolous lawsuits over problems like those encountered in the movie "The Fly"?

The Insurance Company Executives wanted to know if the transporter device was open to frivolous lawsuits over problems like those encountered in the movie "The Fly"?

The Medical Association Representative wanted to know if the transporter device could scramble a person like an egg, such that the human body parts were all there but rearranged or some body parts were missing or body parts were contaminated as encountered in the movie "The Fly"? Other than that doctors may again make house calls using a Transporter Unit.

The Transportation Company Executives wanted to know if the transporter device would discourage people from traveling or shipping goods via the use of automobiles, buses, trucks, airplanes and railroad trains?

The Computer/Electronic Industry Executives were ecstatic about the transporter device, but wanted to know if in addition to the use of electronic hardware would computer software be required and could they have exclusive manufacturing and programming rights for the Transporter Units?

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, the alarm clock awoke Linda from the worst nightmare she had ever had. She was looking forward to the morning commute to Baltimore Maryland.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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