REALITY CHECK: Baby got (a 12-volt) back

Reality Check | Mike Taylor

We all love our smart phones, our iPads, Kindles, Nooks, GPS devices and Gameboys. What we DON’T love is the snake’s nest of charging cables, wall warts and other plug-in tangles that accompany these George Jetson-like gizmos.

The battery on my own smart phone is pretty good. When I first bought the thing, it would last all day. Then I downloaded Angry Birds and Facebook, after which the battery sometimes lasted as long as an hour before I had to plug in somewhere. Those birds really suck the juice.

Until battery technology catches up with the gadgets they power, the wall outlet will continue to hold us hostage to the AC overlords. Sure, one day, batteries will be the size of a TicTac and last 40 years between charges, but for now, we need some alternatives.

Which is why I should be happy about Power Shorts.

What are Power Shorts? Well, to begin with, they’re blue jean cutoff shorts that look uncomfortably like the pair Daisy Duke sported in every episode of “The Dukes of Hazzard.” When the shorts-wearer walks, jumps, bends over or dances the Funky Chicken (or any combination thereof) the back pocket of the cutoffs — into which is sewn “foam-like ferroelectret materials with pockets of permanently charged surfaces” — produces electricity.

According to the manufacturer, a full day’s worth of walking and/or dancing will charge up the average cell phone for about four hours.

I see a few problems with this: First off, NOBODY — not Rudolph Nureyev, not Janet Jackson, not nobody — dances for a “full day.”

Some people do walk all day long, but they’re usually pushing a shopping cart, living under a viaduct and more concerned about finding their next meal than how they’re going to keep their Android tablet powered up.

The sort of people addicted to e-devices spend so much time dorking around with them that they rarely get off their lazy — um — back pockets in the first place. Let’s be real; your average tech nerd is simply not going to generate a lot of electricity through excessive body (or booty) movement.

Which leads us to the issue I find most troubling regarding these shorts. While skimpy cutoffs looked quite nice on Catherine Bach (aka TV’s Daisy Duke) few women — and absolutely NO men — look even remotely passable in short-short cutoffs. In order to pull this look off (no pun intended) one must possess an aerobically perfect, Socratic ideal of a backside.

Look around you. Right now. Unless you’re currently rehearsing with the Bolshoi Ballet, chances are you’re not seeing a rear-end any better than my own, which has been known to induce temporary blindness if stared at too long.

Were I to be wearing short-short cutoffs, that blindness would likely be permanent.

For most of us, Power Shorts are a fashion faux pas on a par with lime green leisure suits and Pete Rose’s haircut.

When it comes to juicing up our e-toys, I’ll admit I don’t have all (or any) of the answers. But there just has to be something better than booty power.

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