Monday, June 28, 2010

The Black Smoke Of Industry

I've complained pretty loudly in the past about the black smoke of my town's monster truck tire factory. It rolls out with force, seeming to build on itself. You frequently can see devil heads in the smoke formations, so it's something of a nasty sight.

Now I'm to blame, indirectly, for some black smoke right here in the neighborhood. It was boiling up, or billowing up, today, across the road, above the trees of the guy who lives there. It wasn't pleasant to see, but he had a good explanation for it, so I guess we'll have to let it pass.

Some of my neighbors are among my most faithful readers, and that's true about this guy. He's got his own trucking company, although truthfully he might be basically retired from it by now and someone else would be managing the affairs. But it looks like he keeps an eye on things, and probably a hand in the business. Which has to do with his interest in tires.

I was explaining to him in person one day about my idea that every man ought to be entitled to have his own industry if he wanted it. And because of the trucking company, the fact that he already owns a trucking company, he was very open to the idea. Up until a couple weeks ago, he had a normal lot and spent a lot of time grooming it. But then he decided to work up his own tire factory.

So that's cool. There's already a tire factory on our block! At least it's in the beginning stages, which, according to him requires some experimentation with rubber, looking for the right ratio of natural rubber, synthetic fibers, and various space-age polymers. I'd be the last person to know that much about making tires, although I said the other day that if I were doing it I'd definitely dissect an existing tire. Why reinvent the wheel?

But this guy went about it differently, grinding up some old truck tires from his plant in a meat grinder, then he's trying to reconstitute it all, recycling them, boiling and burning them down. That accounts for some of the smoke. Then there's other bits that are resistant to grinding, some of the parts with big road blisters and pavement cysts. You can't grind that, he says, you can only burn it.

So I looked out yesterday, and where there's normally a fairly clear sky, there were these big black plumes, complete with devil faces, coming from right there. Quite a few thoughts went through my head as to what it could be. I was about to blame it on the industrial powers, when I suddenly realized: It was my enterprising neighbor from across the road doing his part to secure industrial rights for the average man.

I went over and he explained about the cysts, blisters, and rubber tumors, which all sounded quite logical, in particular with his ability to speak a lot of scientific lingo accompanied by the appropriate gestures. Honestly, I don't like black smoke that much -- it's hard to breathe when it's around. But if it means realizing the ideals I've come to believe -- the opening up of industry for everyone -- then it's worth suffering for a while.

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