Although he often felt awkward in social situation, Professor Ambrose Featherwinkle felt perfectly in control. The refreshments had been served without spillage and he had made his speech about his new invention to the business people assembled in his parlor. Now he led them to the basement where his laboratory was located and the prototype of his new invention lay polished and ready.
Spring Melon juice was a popular beverage across the settled continents on Wendria. But it was expensive due to the delicacy and time and took to extract the juice. Beneath the pliant outer skin, the interior fruit bruised easily which produced a bitter taste in the otherwise sweet juice. Thus, the melons had to be carefully sliced open before human hands carefully kneaded the pulp to extract the juice in its pristine flavor.
As his guests stared at Professor Featherwinkle's Refined Quality Spring Melon Juice Extraction System (a name he came up with himself), he felt as giddy as a schoolboy. In fact, he had been a schoolboy of twelve when he demonstrated his first breakthrough, a light spray that killed fleas and dogs and rendered their coats to a very glossy texture after an easy application that took about one minute.
After showing this to people in his neighborhood while their canine pets were gathered in his yard, Ambrose knew the exhilaration of scientific and commercial success. It lasted a little over an hour before the dogs' fur changed to an array of Day-Glo colors.
For the next thirty years, Ambrose continued his research in a variety of fields, producing patents, hilarity, and lawsuits but very limited success. But now he was on the cusp of his first huge breakthrough. In fact, the Spring Melon juice he had served upstairs had been produced by this very machine. Unlike some of his previous inventions, there had been no unwelcome aftereffects such as the growth of luxuriant beards (on the women) or the 48-hour transformation that made people behave like ducks.
Taking a large Spring Melon that weighed about twenty-five pounds, Ambrose placed it on a seat-like cradle, explaining how a full-scale production machine would have multiple cradles and extraction bores. In this case, the 3/4-inch-wide cylindrical bore was aimed at the fruit in the cradle. Although it had a metallic interior, the exterior was covered in a sheath of a rubber derivative.
Turning just the bore on, Ambrose spoke as he demonstrated it workings. Interior pistons made the bore expand as the moved in and out to create what looked like a shifting, lumpy surface.
"The kneading effect," noted one man as he puffed on his cigar approvingly. "The action looks perfect."
Ambrose beamed as he flicked some switches and turned a few dials. Now the bore expanded even more - enough to work the entire interior of the melon.
"But how does it keep from bruising the pulp?" a woman who was part of the fifth generation of a family in the Spring Melon business.
"Pressure readings used through my patented SFCLD," Ambrose replied proudly, only to generate looks of incomprehension from his audience. He began to sweat. "Er, my Sensory Feedback Calculatory Linkage Device. Let me show you."
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Mr Double's Palisade
A MrDouble Production:
Changes last made on: Thursday, April 03, 2018