PTFE:  The Slick Invention That Protects Politicians and Corporate Executives

By Bernard Levy

 

    In 1938, at the duPont Jackson laboratory in New Jersey, Dr. Roy J. Plunkett accidentally discovered Teflon®--polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)--while experimenting with gases related to duPont’s Freon  An experiment using a compressed sample of tetrafluoroethylene polymerized spontaneously into a white, waxy solid.

    Horneus Erasmus Pentafly, an observer in the lab, wrote in his diary, “All of a sudden, a halo formed over Plunkett’s head and several ‘Eurekas’ were heard.”  Pentafly’s colorful commentary aside, PTFE is considered the most slippery material in existence and recognized worldwide for its superior non-stick properties as a coating on cookware and a soil and stain repellant for textile products.  Dr. Plunkett was inducted into the National Inventors’ Hall of Fame, joining Thomas Edison.

    Caveat:  Teflon® watchdoggers advise people about its dangers.  In humans, PTFE causes flu-like symptoms; in birds, it kills.  The dangerous fumes are only released when PTFE-coated products are heated to extremely high temperatures, but those temperatures may occur in some instances below 300°F.

    It has been a closely guarded secret that PTFE is being used to insulate politicians and corporate executives from legislative and financial investigations and lawsuits.  PTFE products have minimized fines and punishment resulting from corruption and, in some cases, have provided benefits to wrong-doers.

    This information is protected among the rolling Runnamuckah Hills of northeastern Oregon in a clandestine laboratory dedicated to people coating.  Oh, some media slips have occurred; John Gotti was called the Teflon Godfather.  Bill Clinton has also been called the Teflon Don Juan, although he was formerly known as “Slick Willy.”  In this guarded laboratory, Harold Fitzgoldstein Penally has devoted his life to developing
people PTFE products and oversees the coating and recoating of politicians and corporate executives.

    I cannot reveal my source of this information, except to say that it is Shallow Trachea, the cousin of Deep Throat.  Following investigative practices used by O’Reilly and Limbaugh, e.g., supposed facts and rampant conjecture, I can support strong, but shaky, investigative conclusions.

    Consider some examples:  Newt Gingrich was probably a past user of PTFE before it wore off.  It is rumored that President Ronald Reagan, the great communicator, was coated; as you will recall, some liberals dubbed him the Teflon President.  But the biggest users to date, ever, are those currently associated with the Bush Presidency.

    Remember when everyone wondered where Vice President Cheney was?  He had traveled to the lab to receive multiple coatings on himself and his clothing.  President Bush has been unable to revisit the facility for additional coatings, but Penally has been flown to Washington, probably to personally coat him.

    There are drawbacks, though, to the use of PTFE and its progeny in protecting individuals.

    In the November 2004 edition of Experiments of Mice and Men, the following drawbacks were detected by a panel of extinguished scientists.  First, you cannot raise the coated person’s temperature to more than 173°F.  There’s not much danger in that occurring since politicians and executives take many cold showers, often fully clothed. 

    The fumes generated by aging coatings have several detriments:  they cause the user to engage in profanity, similar to the remarks uttered by Vice President Cheney on the Senate floor; they cause persons gathering about the coated politicians to contribute large amounts of money, even though the donors may be unaware they are doing so.  In addition, the toxicity, if not corrected by a recoating, promotes breaks in the brain’s electrical connections that have been linked to ethical misconduct.

    When I tried to contact Dr. Penally in his lab, I was referred to an individual who required my social security number, bank account numbers and strongly suggested that, to free-up some offshore funds that a Nigerian General had deposited in Switzerland, I needed to

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    wire $10,000 as a goodwill gesture to recover 25 million dollars.

    If you ever get the opportunity to fry an egg on a politician or corporate executive, do not, under any circumstances, turn the heat past 160°F; he or she may be coated.At least that’s what Shallow Trachea tells me.