THE SONIC BOOMER
I was out and about this morning, tooling around in my car with no particular place to go, and I got to thinking about flying cars. It’s something we all dream about from time to time. We’ll be stuck at a stoplight and think, “If only I had a leap button, I could clear this mess.”
Well, at one time I did have a leap button, and it was tremendous fun. It was a gag level that you stuck onto your dashboard, and it read “Eject.” I drove kids on field trips back then and, believe me, it kept peace in the car. No one ever knew which seat was the ejector seat, you see, and no one wanted to risk it. Only one eight-year-old was ever brave enough to ask me if it was real; the rest of them just assumed it was.
But I’ve gotten off track, just as I would be if had a flying car. I’ve decided that we don’t deserve them. In fact, maybe Detroit has already come up with one and, on the way home from work, the inventor looked around at the way people drive and said, “No.”
Humanity can’t always handle its own creations. You’ve heard “build it and they will come?” Well, what about, “Build it and they will find a way to destroy themselves with it?”
I can barely get from Point A to Point B without seeing six people staring at their phones while they drive; applying makeup or fiddling with the CD player. As they do this, they’re balancing hot coffee in their lap and munching on fries. Yet when Mark has me up in a Cessna, he is totally focused. I am so grateful for that. (Of course, there are no drive-through windows up there either, where I can say, “Ooh, let’s stop and get a dozen doughnuts!”)
My point is that if people had flying cars, they’d be dropping from the sky like mosquitoes. And where would they be dropping? Onto us earthbound drivers, of course. Isn’t it bad enough that we have to maneuver around road hazards, watch out for texting drivers and avoid those crazy squirrels, without having to keep one eye on the sun roof as well?
“Watch it, mom, here comes another flying car!”
I suppose we could insist that those with flying cars get a pilot’s license, but then they would inevitably go higher and higher until they were interrupting the air space of real pilots.
“Delta 257B to Ground Control, there’s a teenager up here buzzing the passenger windows again.”
“I know, Delta. He’s a frequent flyer. We’ll call out the F-16s.”
It could get expensive.
And how would they park? Driver safety rules could insist that they land in parking lots just like the rest of us but, when visiting a friend in the hospital, wouldn’t the rooftop helipad be tempting? Of course it would. Zip in, zip out. Meanwhile, Trauma Hawk has to keep circling.
So, in a way, I’m happy that there are no flying cars. The only one who is really responsible enough to be trusted with one is… me, of course.
I’d follow the rules! I’d stay away from airplanes, avoid hospital helipads and put my phone in a box in the backseat when flying.
I can’t say I wouldn’t snack a little bit, though. You gotta eat.
So, if you’re out and about someday, stuck at a stoplight, and a Twinkie hits your windshield, look up.