Galvanic Batteries, Heads Of Swans

It is a simple enough matter to embed a galvanic battery in the graceful head of a swan, provided, that is, you are a boffin with some training in the basic techniques of veterinary surgery. The layperson or amateur is likely to face difficulties not only with the bloody business of embedding, but also in telling the difference between a galvanic battery and other types of battery, and indeed in knowing what a swan looks like. The ornithological ignorance of some people is breathtaking, and that includes boffins. For example, I once met a boffin, an acknowledged wizard at home in the lab heating various substances in glass tubes over a Bunsen burner, who mistook a heron for a cassowary, if you can imagine such bird-blindness. And do not get me started on the story of the boffin who pointed at a flock of swooping swifts in the sky and said “Ah, I love the sight of swooping pratincoles!”

A boffin who has grasped the basics of veterinary surgery, however, should know a swan when they see one and, depending on their field of boffinhood, ought to be able to pick a galvanic battery out of a line-up of various types of battery. There are cases where the name of the battery-type is etched or stamped on the body of the battery itself, for ease of identification, and then no familiarity with batteries is required. However, it is rare, o rare indeed!, to find a bird so etched or stamped. One must learn at least a few basic identification skills, to pick a swan out of a line-up.

But I ought not give the impression that the putative embedder must first pick out a galvanic battery, and then select a swan, from a pair of line-ups like identity parades such as are arranged by coppers following an arrest connected to a heist. It is much more common to be called in to perform the embedding and to find a galvanic battery and a swan already provided, the one resting on a countertop and the other, stunned with anaesthetic, fast asleep in a basket. Even the most stupid person will know which is the battery and which is the bird, I hope, and to allay even the merest smidgen of doubt, some form of signage can be installed, cheaply, using a couple of sheets of cardboard and a magic marker pen. To make absolutely sure, the words “Galvanic Battery” and “Swan” on the signs can be accompanied by simple pictograms for the illiterate. Add to each sign an emboldened arrow pointing clearly towards what a beardy French intellectual would call “the referent”, and Bob’s your uncle.

Now, I mentioned that the embedding is a bloody business, and so it is. There is no way of slicing an opening in the graceful head of the swan without causing a flow of hot red swan-gore. It is helpful to have a gaggle of eager unpaid interns to staunch this, and to mop up inevitable spillages, so the embedder can get on with the task at hand, which is to embed the galvanic battery into the swan’s head by shoving it, o so delicately!, through the bloody slit until it is lodged firmly next to the swan’s brain. Note that the brain of a swan will always be located in its head, rather than elsewhere in its anatomy. That done, sew up the slit with butchers’ string, and slap a bandage over it. If the bandage is white, as is common, and the swan is white, as is common, the casual observer may not even notice that the embedding has taken place. That may or may not be important, depending upon the legal regulations obtaining in the jurisdiction. Some authorities take a dim view of the embedding of galvanic batteries in the graceful heads of swans, though for the life of me I cannot think why that might be so. In any case, it is better to check the legal position beforehand.

Alert readers will have spotted that I omitted to mention perhaps the most crucial part of the process, which is the bit where the galvanic battery is actually attached to the brain of the swan by wires. In practice, of course, one would never miss this out, otherwise the entire operation would be a waste of time and effort. However, unlike the slicing and cutting and shoving and staunching and mopping up, the wiring is a fiddly and complicated matter fraught with godawful difficulties, and deserves a separate article, written in fiddly and complicated prose, to which the reader must pay unflinching attention, while also being wide awake, and probably half-crazed with stimulants. That article has yet to be written, and it will need to be approved by experts in the fields of galvanic batteries, and of swans, and of wiring, before it can appear here, for your instruction and edification.

One thought on “Galvanic Batteries, Heads Of Swans

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.