“Life in plastic — it’s fantastic,” said Dr. Gabriel Barbecue.
Photo by James Woolley
Last month, Dr. Gabriel Barbecue checked himself into the hospital after experiencing severe digestive issues. He is the head of the Plastic Research Institute in Santa Monica (PRISM), a laboratory that studies the effects of plastic pollution. Dr. Barbecue was in the midst of conducting a study about how microplastic consumption affects human beings. He accomplished this by replacing his daily bowl of breakfast cereal with chunks of Lego bricks that were churned in a food processor.
While in the hospital, Dr. Barbecue coughed up a perfect replica of the Statue of Liberty. “I think all the plastic I was consuming accumulated in my stomach and became this little figurine,” said Barbecue. “This makes sense, because I’ve been planning my trip to New York, and I was craving a slice of New York pizza, and my stomach knew that I was craving New York pizza, so it made something New York-y in my stomach.”
Doctors at St. Titania Hospital were puzzled by the results of Barbecue’s blood test. Although his medical records indicated that he had type AB blood, the test results instead revealed that Barbecue had a new blood type. “They call it type P blood,” explained Barbecue. “Because the doctors found out my blood was 70% plastic by volume.”
Since his time at the hospital, Dr. Barbecue has coughed up several other plastic creations. After creating seven replicas of the RMS Titanic (“I just really love Leonardo DiCaprio in that movie”), Barbecue began experimenting with microfibers. “I can actually knit a full-length scarf in a day just from the microfibers found in my tap water,” reported Barbecue. “Microfibers are everywhere in the environment — it’s wonderful. My goal is to get to a point where I can create an article of clothing just by thinking about it. My husband loves turtleneck sweaters, so I’d love to surprise him with one. A gift from the bottom of my heart — or, um, the bottom of my stomach.”
Following Barbecue’s astonishing experimental results, scientists at PRISM have been discussing plans to introduce more microplastics into the environment. “If Gabe can 3D print a little statue of the Eiffel Tower every day, imagine what eight billion people could do,” said PRISM director Oswald Mojo. He started the Exfoliating Plastic Initiative that People Enjoy Now (EPIPEN), which funded the creation of a facial exfoliating wash formulated with even more microplastic beads. Although the exfoliant is still not approved by the FDA, Mojo is confident that it can get more microplastics into the ocean and eventually into people’s digestive systems.
“Just think about it like this: every time I bring a plastic container to the local recycling plant I get five cents. Just imagine how much money everyone could make if they produced their own plastic! This would give every American more money, which they could spend on more plastic products, which would fuel the economy and get more plastic into the environment, which could then be digested and the cycle could be continued,” said Mojo, “This initiative is like an EpiPen for the planet. We’re putting all those plastics in the seawater so that people can recycle them. It’s actually going to save the world. Maybe we can even get sea turtles to join in — I hear they really like eating plastic straws.”