Ian Martin gets his first taste of neogen
MONDAY A call from my old mate Beansy the nanofuturologist. My God, HE’s doing all right for himself. Positively buoyant. Amazing, the way he just glides through every stretch of Austerity’s Sargasso Sea like an oiled yacht.
Still, that’s the thing about nanofuturology. Recession-proof. Right up there with landfill and tinned pies. Although now I think about it there must be a brisk trade in landfill. All those pretend charities shipping it overseas for profit, along with our unfashionable trousers, Keep Calm and Vote Lib Dem T-shirts and whatnot.
Beansy’s inviting me over for drinks, always a bit of a saga as one of his hobbies is inventing new alcohols. ‘Tune out, turn up, drop in!’ he says, in his weird Scallyfornian accent.
TUESDAY Beansy’s steepling rise from obscure biotech miniaturist to best-selling author is richly deserved. Along with everyone else, I neither covet nor begrudge. I’m incredibly happy for the fat jammy bastard.
A small fortune favours the brave, and Beansy was clever enough two years ago to write a dystopian non-fiction blockbuster called Every Ide Is A Suicide. In it, he cheerfully analyses how we’re killing ourselves with everything ending in ‘ide’: the carbons monoxide and dioxide, pesticide, even stuff he made up that sounded plausible eg ‘bacterial genocide’.
When any critic had the presence of mind to point out that plenty of things ending in ‘ide’ were actually beneficial, like the countryside, Beansy would simply give them a sarcastic look, say ‘oh REALLY?’ and somehow win the argument.
WEDNESDAY Packing for an overnighter at Beansy’s. Apparently he wants my view on something. His indoor heated pool probably, the insufferable git, good luck to him, as I say.
THURSDAY Gone are the days of Beansy’s ramshackle old lab in that shitty Croydon lock-up. He’s some grade of illionaire now, with an inverse multi-storey experimental gaff in Belgravia.
His iceberg mansion extends deep beneath the unsuspecting streets of non-nanofuturological London. As is customary with these underground behemoths, most of the space is a celebration of the owner’s brilliance. Three whole floors are dedicated to a museum of Beansy’s lucrative patented inventions. They’re even constructed from two of his signature innovative materials - ‘hard air’ and Kryptogel®.
Extraordinary to see how far nanotechnology has moved on in the last few months. Beansy’s parallel universe transporter now looks about as fresh as the iPhone 4. His prototype Airfracker, once revolutionary in its application of nano-mining technology to the micro-subdivision of rentable London space, seems quaint enough to be in the Bletchley Park museum. And his invisibility cloak - SO outdated. Also a bit creepy, to be honest.
Anyway, it’s great to catch up. There’s a party in the evening, the smart London crowd getting wired and wankered with Beansy’s latest invention, the Vodcainator, a metered-dose inhaler that delivers ‘aerosolised party all sorts’.
Disclaimer: I really strongly disapprove of oligarchitecture and the decadence it incites, particularly in theory.
FRIDAY Wake up feeling incredibly refreshed, an odd sensation when you’re a quarter of a mile below street level with a hangover. That’ll be the ‘neogen’ says Beansy casually, 3D-synthesising some breakfast. WHAT?
He starts sweeping me with hand-held monitors and checking on a laptop. ‘Whoa, this is beyond awesome. I thought there might be adjustment issues? I’ve been introducing it gradually into my respiratory experience. You, dude, have taken to it SO easily. It’s like I won a goldfish at the fair and slipped it out of its plastic bag into the garden pond … ‘WHAT THE FUCK IS NEOGEN, BEANSY?’
An hour later, I’m digesting my 3D breakfast and the significance of Beansy’s latest caper. Neogen is a self-replicating ‘smart gas’. Its molecules bond with all the ‘good air-gases’ such as oxygen. They also magnetise all the bad ones into harmless lightweight compost for urban gardens, deserts etc. Neogen can carry electrical charge, radio waves and ‘pop-up physics’, so your personal Wi-Fi cone can be a soundproof listening booth, an umbrella and, at a push, temporary affordable housing.
Beansy’s going to revolutionise the world of ideas AGAIN. All I can do is look on in awe, and wonder how to monetise something in my direction.
SATURDAY Head home with a sample of self-replicating neogen, my head full of clarity and free Wi-Fi.
SUNDAY Release the neogen. Feel the benefit. Eschew the recliner, too energised! Oh. Sudden sense of foreboding.