When I heard of the chocolate-powered race car, I knew I was built for speed.
I'm just not sure how long I'll be able to squeeze behind the carrot fiber steering wheel and stuff myself into the soybean seat after sniffing Hershey's fumes and Nestle's exhaust for 500 miles.
Chocolate power is the latest in green technology ... and the newest reason why we as a society are zooming toward obesity: When we're not eating our food, we're playing with it.
Scientists at the The University of Warwick in Coventry, England, on Tuesday unveiled their WorldFirst Formula 3 racing car, a vehicle powered by chocolate waste and vegetable oil.
It not only zips around on biofuel, but it's biodegradable. The body is baked from potato resin. The steering wheel is molded from carrots and other root vegetables. The seat is flax fiber and soybean oil foam. Even the lubricants of this cargohydrate wonder have a plant oil base, according to the chefs at Warwick.
They say it can corner at 125 mph and figure they'll reach a top speed of 145 mph when they get it on the racetrack this summer.
Forget the drive-through window. This baby is dinner and dessert on the go.
Dr. Steve Maggs states on the Warwick Web site: ''The WorldFirst project proves that if you are going to wholeheartedly embrace the 'green is great' ethos, you have to broaden your vision and have a strategy that stretches throughout the chain from the raw materials to the final disposal of the car.''
Final disposal? You know how dogs chase cars but never know what to do if they catch it? If GM starts making my Chevy Malibu out of scraps from the supper table, I'm going to be afraid to stop at traffic lights for fear that hungry hounds will wolf down my green ride before the light turns green.
People, this whole ''go green'' thing has to be stopped before we destroy ourselves with good intentions!
What if La-Z-Boy starts weaving sofas from mashed potato fibers? Your couch potato will eat the couch.
Suppose more well-meaning scientists figure out how to power the microwave from Pop Rocks and Coca Cola?
I don't even want to think about biodegradable appliances built from doughnuts and chocolate chip cookie dough:
''Where's your homework, Johnny? Did the, uh, dog eat it again?''
''Nope. I ate the computer. I drizzled the washing machine on it first.''
There's hardly a teenage boy who hasn't heard his parents complain, ''Son, you're going to eat us out of house and home.'' Well if this ''go green'' thing runs its course, Young Mr. Metabolism will eat the actual house, home and all the furnishings besides. Don't wear a top made from rutabaga fibers, or it won't be the tanking economy that causes you to lose your shirt.
As for the chocolate-powered car, it may save the environment, but it will do nothing for our fight against obesity. The motto of The University of Warwick is ''mens agitat molem'' - which you will find in your menu of Latin phrases as ''mind over matter.'' It's going to take a lot of mind power not to get hungry driving this chocolate stew matter.
I wonder if the Warwick scientists can develop bathroom scales made from chocolate cake?
--- Sniff Cole's chocolate dust at firstname.lastname@example.org