Whilst the great majority of the population currently under CONTRIK-69 house arrest are simply marking time, trying steadfastly to ignore the privations of endless hours spent imprisoned with relatives whilst lamenting the absence of loved ones and desperately hoping that they live long enough to see the outside world again, two intrepid Dorset ladies are doing their level best to put a positive spin on life in virus-ridden limbo.
Veteran DHRA members - former academic Ms Audrey Badminton Court and her long term companion Ms Celia Notso-Pointy - have hatched a scheme designed to harness the pent up energies of housebound pensioners [estimated at an average 0.3 joules "on a good day"] and, at the same time, bring cheap electricity to those in financial need.
Code named Operation Zimmer [after the film composer Hans Zimmer whose opportunistic conversion of a conductor’s rostrum into a moveable walking aid has bought blessed relief to dozens] the scheme is designed to convert the feeble and faltering footsteps of mobility-challenged pensioners into kinetic energy which, once stored in specially designed 1 ton battery packs, can be transported to other locations and used - for example - to power life saving devices such as Bluetooth coffee grinders, hair curlers and straighteners, smart fridges, lava lamps and electric cocktail shakers.
“It's rather like the spirit of Dundalk [surely Dunkirk [Ed]] Ms Notso-Pointy said, "everyone wants to do their bit and Ms Badminton-Court and I are no exception”. “We had returned from a walk one day in December, just as the RDC were placing a 3 metre electric fence around our property to prevent us from doing so again, when it occurred to us that now we were completely cut off from the outside world we would, in all probability, be doing quite a bit of caged-animal-like pacing up and down the length and breadth of the sitting room. Over the many years of lockdown still to come that is likely to amount to a lot of pacing so we wondered how it might be put to good use. It was then that we realised that modified pensioner-based mobility equipment might prove a sustainable source of electricity. At first we thought that it might amount to nothing more than reducing the carbon footprint of our electric fence [prisoner jail thyself [Ed]] and that at the very least it might stop the electricity meter whizzing round quite so rapidly, but then we realised that if we could recruit other geriatrics to the cause, we could make a real contribution to renewable energy supplies whilst keeping something - I can't remember what [memory loss? [Ed]] - at bay . Audrey put an advert in the local parish magazine and now there are 6 of us involved - which reduces the average shift to about 8 hours a day which is a blessing. We are currently working on the idea that simply standing up and sitting down might supplement supplies but since most of us can only manage that twice a day at most, the gains are what Audrey calls theoretical. It’s all a work in progress".
A spokesperson for near monopoly suppliers Dorset Electricity would not be drawn on the overall significance of Project Zimmer to the wider renewable, low-carbon, minisicule-operating-window, hardly-sustainable, feel-good, green energy scene, or on its likely contribution to ever-rising countywide electricity demand. “Put it this way”, Ms Aycee di Sea said, “if you think of something in the region of 0%, halve it and take away 1,000, you wouldn't be far wrong”. [Ms Aycee di Sea is a graduate of the University of Afpuddle's Advanced Mathematics Masters course [Module B: Understanding the concept zero].]
The attractive and highly personable Dorset Electricity spokesperson [38-28-32] also dismissed as "a paranoid conspiracy theory" suggestions that a derivative of viagra was being introduced into a genetically modified version of the Snakeoil Company's Afpuddle CONTRIK-69 vaccine currently being administered to the over 80s "in an effort to increase both stamina and productivity". "There's absolutely no truth in that and no need for it either - we are giving them all 4 extra cornflakes each morning - what more does an 80-something-year-old need?"