August 2005

ASK THE SMART GUY: Monthly column by Dennis Latham.

Craig and Wendy Guppie sent in the question of the month.

August Question of the Month:

How does the United States produce rocket fuel?

It’s simpler and a lot stranger than most people could imagine.

In 1962, John Glenn became the first American to circle the Earth, making three orbits in his Friendship 7 Mercury spacecraft. This was due to the rocket fuel created by the late Dwight Bingham, a transient alcoholic who has never been mentioned in NASA history. The information on his discovery is still classified, and will remain classified to prevent a scandal due to the tax revenue wasted by scientists during years of research to discover a cheap but stable rocket fuel. I received Bingham’s formula from a NASA secret historical memo.

47-cent hamburgers with onions and draft beer

Back in those days (late 1950s) 47-cent hamburgers cost three to five cents, but I’m quoting the current inflated price. The two ingredients were mixed, shaken, and confined for twelve hours before being hosed into the propulsion systems of early rockets. The idea for this formula came from Dwight Bingham’s close observation of drunks using pay toilets in all-night hamburger restaurants.

Back then, many restaurants had pay toilets. Customers had to insert a dime in the coin slot to use the toilet. Pay toilets are also the origin of the dance called the Limbo as customers attempted to use the toilet without paying for it. After several experiments where Bingham witnessed toilet doors being blown off the hinges by drunken patrons, Bingham wrote the thesis that has become the space flight Bible: Pay Toilet Door Hinge Failure Due To Food Induced Explosive Propulsion. Bingham’s formula is the basic equation that eventually put a United States rocket into orbit.


(5 Small Hamburgers With Onions + 1 Quart Beer = 1 Trip To Bathroom)

NASA will deny Bingham ever existed. They will deny Bingham’s formula is the origin of the various slang terms for the small hamburgers as applied to space travel. They will never acknowledge the 141 convict deaths during the testing phase using Bingham’s formula. They will also never admit spending seven trillion dollars on prior research or acknowledge the secret underground prison facility at the Kennedy Space Center where 3000 convicts are still forced daily to eat cheap hamburgers with onions and drink draft beer to keep the current space program in operation.

So the answer to the question is: Rectum Rockets.

Bingham’s formula being tested by convict at secret NASA facility.

This photo shows the late Dwight Bingham during research phase.

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