This is not the story of a would-be sewage magnate who failed to deliver on an important contract. Nor is it a story about one of those crazy British artists who spray paint feces gold. No, our headline here is sadly very literal indeed.
Paul Horan, a man from Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, is beginning a three month prison sentence after causing a fire in his block of flats. Despite being, as described by his barrister, a man of “considerable intellectual ability,” he was experimenting with the ancient, mystical and entirely false art of alchemy – turning base metals into gold. Only he didn’t have any base metals, so he used human poo – his own, hopefully – instead.
That’s right, pun fans, he was attempting bowelchemy.
Having creating a mixture of feces, fertiliser and other bits and bobs, Paul then attempted to cook it on his heater, and that’s when the fire started. The police arrived shortly afterwards, and charged him with arson and endangering the lives of others, to which he eventually pleaded guilty.
Court reports suggest he caused over £3,000 (well over $5,000) worth of damage.
Presiding over the case, Judge McFarland told Paul: “Rather bizarrely you were attempting to make gold from human feces and waste products.
“It was an interesting experiment to fulfil the alchemist’s dream, but wasn’t going to succeed.” (via Yahoo)
Mind you, if it had worked, who would buy the gold? And for what purpose?