Helium Harry, the 400-Lbs. Gorilla

So, don’t get me wrong. Drug and alcohol abuse are certainly no laughing matter(s?). And kudos to folks who admit they have problems and go into recovery programs. Better to kill your addiction before your addiction kills you. Now, having said that…

I stumbled upon a web page about helium recovery, and the first thing I thought of was someone who got addicted to breathing helium so they could talk with a squeaky voice nonstop. “Paul, this is an intervention. Your helium abuse has gotten out of hand, and, though we love your hilarious Meatwad quotes, it’s ruining all our lives.”

For once, I did a little more research into the subject, and it turns out that the we’re pretty close to running into worldwide helium shortage. Ridiculous though it may sound, I assure you that last sentence is not a joke. We are actually running out of helium. This may not seem like a big deal on the surface, but apparently helium is not used just for birthday balloons. Turns out it’s pretty important for a ton of different scientific processes.

So, ultimately, the “helium recovery” devices this website was shucking are to help people capture the helium they use in…whatever kind of tests they’re doing so it can be reused.

I feel like helium recycling is the kind of environmental cause that could really benefit from a lovable mascot like Smokey Bear. Maybe “Helium Harry,” the 400-pound gorilla with a high-pitched voice and a funny t-shirt. Just as a jumping off point. We’ll workshop it.