Inventor of Driverless Unicycle Disheartened to Learn of Ringling Bros. Circus Closure

Originally Published: July 4, 2018.

A local inventor’s joy at the patenting of a driverless unicycle quickly turned to disappointment today as he learned that the client he had expected to be most interested in his technology, the Ringling Bros. Circus, had gone out of business.

Willard Harknell, a 55-year-old inventor/crossing guard/flier deliverer was crushed to learn that the legendary travelling show had called it quits mere months before he was ready after years of work to audition a working model of his automated novelty transport.

Harknell, who had been working in isolation on his invention for three years in his basement workshop in the village of Hapsquatt New York, says in retrospect he should have researched the financial viability of the iconic circus when he first conceived of his high tech one-wheeler. “There were other inventions I had in mind that I could have focused on. But I just never even considered . . . I mean, who thought Americans would ever turn against the objectification of scantily clad women, the fascination with human deformities and the questionable treatment of animals?”

“I had even written up the stage directions for the act introducing the unicycle. The rider would enter in the same old way, laughing and waving and not noticing the low-hanging beam that everyone in the audience could see. And he’d hit his head, and fall off, and the ‘cycle would just keep going… It would have been entertainment gold, pure gold.”

The chastened gadget maker has been scrambling to come up with a plan B for his robotic half-bike, and next week will be meeting with Pentagon officials to promote what he is now calling a “land-drone.”

 

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