You know what makes me laugh?
You know, those flying cars we were supposed to have up here in the futuristic George Jetson 21st Century?
Can you imagine?
No, really, can you just imagine the astronomical death toll? The shear complete carnage? Flying cars would make the human race extinct more surely than any giant asteroid impact or nuclear winter or universal healthcare program or ancient Mayan prophecy.
Invent flying cars and I give humanity two months, tops. That’s what happened to the dinosaurs. Flying cars.
Seriously, look at the idiots you share the road with – now give these simpletons wings and three dimensions to maneuver in. That’s right, these are the same mouth breathing dolts who can’t manage a 4-way stop or understand the basic concept of “left lane fast, right lane slow.” These are the same morons who watch porn and surf the internet while behind the wheel of a 20-ton tractor trailer rig doing 70 down the highway. These are the same Viagra fueled hard-ons in their giant chrome crusted pickup trucks that so desperately crave the attention and envy of people they don’t know who are impressed by the manufacturer of car parts ( It’s Got a HEMI! Seriously, like I give a fuck who made your transmission – get out of the way, Jackass) – Yeah, let’s give these people flying Hummers. Try to picture a 70 foot long levitating Winnebago with a blue haired driver from Whatthefuckinton, Oklahoma, in the driver’s seat squinting out the top of his bifocals through the steering wheel at a map flapping madly in the breeze with a midget poodle dog in his lap barking wildly at the birds and the clouds - how come science fiction never managed to see that coming? Just imagine a sky full of flying cars swooping through the air – and every single dumbass piloting with one knee as they chat on the phone and thumb away at their texting keyboards, screaming at their kids in the backseat while in the throes of Sky Rage.
Oh yes, yes, sign me up for that.
Hell, can you imagine the rain of cigarette butts, Starbuck’s cups, and Taco Bell wrappers falling in a continuous sleet from the sky? And you thought pigeon poop was bad. Speaking of which, wait till a couple of geese get sucked into the grill of these flying Buicks. Screw floating cities, we’ll probably need to start living in underground bunkers like the giant WWII submarine pens the Nazis built with the 12 foot thick roofs of ferrocrete and re-bar – at least until bats and birds and flying bunnies and those goofs who like to shoot at passing commuters become extinct.
And, boy, think you’re nervous now, letting your teenaged kids borrow the car? Imagine if it could fly too (imagine the insurance…).
Go ahead, breath into the paper bag. I’ll wait – I’ve got a teenager too.
Now, if a sky full of drunk, stupid, reckless, suicidal jackasses on cell phones in flying cars isn’t enough for you, add this little detail: those flying cars would be built by the same drooling ass-picking booger eating auto manufacturers that make the car you drive on the ground today. Think about that for a minute. The difference is that when your ride breaks down now it doesn’t fall 30,000 feet in a blazing column of smoke and screaming death like a gut-shot B-24 going in over 1944 Berlin. And that’s exactly what would happen – because auto manufacturers, and specifically the engineers who design cars, have got to be the dumbest bunch of sadistically twisted chimp brained chowderheads who have ever existed. Every wonder what happened to those strange social miscreants you went to grade school with? The ones who took auto-shop and only auto-shop all the way through high school and went to Vocab in the summer? Some of those folks tortured small helpless animals and grew up to be cannibal serial killers or Phys-Ed teachers – the rest went to work for GM.
I swear (a lot), have you looked under the hood of a modern car? I mean really looked?
Who designs shit like that?
What is all that stuff? It ain’t engine so what the hell does it do? And there’s more weird stuff under the car.
I can name every single component of an LM2500 Navy Aegis cruiser gas turbine main power plant – and there isn’t one damned thing in that engine room that isn’t completely necessary (well, except for the Lieutenants, they’re usually pretty worthless but they come with the boat, what can you do, right?). I can take a Delta industrial lathe completely apart and put it back together again. Hell, I can field strip an M1911A1 Government Model .45, naming each part and putting it back to together again in under a minute. Blindfolded. But, I don’t recognize half the crap packed Swiss watch-like into the compartment under the hood of my GMC. What is that thing? The flux capacitor? A frappichino machine? The fuel injection system? I swear to the forlorn chrome plated bulbous nosed ghost of Edsel Ford, would it kill these bastards to label shit?
Nobody really knows what any of that stuff does nowadays. Used to be you could ask your dad, or pretty much any guy with a greasy shirt and a SKOAL cap, and he’d say something confident and automechanicky sounding like, “Well, it’s either fuel or fire. Pop the hood, let’s take a look… Oh, hell, there’s your problem! Broken fan belt. You don’t need a new one, we can make one with some old pantyhose and duct tape.” In the old days, it was always the fan belt (and oddly enough your dad always had old pantyhose around the shop…er, never mind). You know how many cars my old man fixed with a soup can, spit, and a steady stream of colorful Navy cursing? Nowadays? Nobody knows anything. Ask a certified auto repairman or ask a redneck shade tree mechanic what that expensive sounding clicking noise is and the first thing he says is, “Wow! That’s weird, man. Never seen that before. Well, it could be any number of things. Could be the ratzerfratzer valveanoodle, or the fuel velociraptor output overflow sensor under-voltage, or it might be your floor mats, there’s just no way to tell – we’ll have to plug it into the computer…” You know what “Plug it into the computer” means? $400. To start. It’s like that scene in The Empire Strikes Back where the Millennium Falcon keeps making that waaaaaah waaaah waaaaaaaaaaah VW Beetle noise and won’t go to lightspeed. “Chewie, take the Professor here in the back and plug him into the hyperdrive.”
Why in the hell didn’t the Falcon just speak English?
You know what language my truck speaks? Check Engine Light. $40,000 bucks and the only thing it can do when it’s sick is turn on the Check Engine Light? That’s it? It can tell me my gas mileage over time to the tenth of a gallon. I mean it can do complex math, but it can’t tell me what’s wrong? It can tell me when to change the oil. Hell, it’s got On-Star, if I press a button my truck can talk to some hottie in outer space! My wife’s car has GPS, that fucking thing never shuts up, turn left turn left turn left turn left oh god turn left. Not only that, but it can speak multiple languages and even in different accents – we like to get our directions from the British chick when we go for fish and chips (it just seems more authentic). But something goes bad and the only thing the vehicle can do is turn on a yellow light. Bing! Well thanks Detroit. That’s helpful. It’s like asking a sick four year old where it hurts. Everywhere! Ralph! My $300 Blackberry speaks English, why doesn’t my $30,000 Mustang? You have to buy another computer to talk to the computer in the truck to convert yellow Check Engine Light into Trouble Code. Then you have to look Trouble Code up on the internet. Ooooooh, Check Engine Light means P0303 which finally translates as Cyclinder 3 Misfire. That clears it right up. Yeah. Flying cars. Bah, I’d be happy if the goddamned truck just told me the #3 fuel injector was clogged in plain English – not that I’d recognize a fuel injector in all that mess. Is this it? Snap! Whoops I hope we didn’t need that.
In the old days you could pretty much fix anything by doing nothing more than wiggling some wires. Wiggle wiggle. Try it now! Vrrrooom! Good! Don’t even think about doing that now. Seriously, they act like you’re jiggling the cord to Granny’s life-support machine. Holy Shit! What are you doing? You’re wiggling wires? Fuck! Stop it, you’re not even grounded man, you’ll fry the chip! Damn, dude, where’d you get your degree, Whatthefuckinton Community College?
My dad could completely rebuild an entire Ford Big Block in a Sunday afternoon and the only tools he ever needed were a 9/16” socket wrench, a case of beer, and Howard Cosell on the transistor radio. Period. Hand me a wrench! What size? Whaduhya mean, what size? What are you, a girl? Nine sixteenth, dumbass. What size? Hell, just my luck, you’ll probably grow up to be a ballerina. Hand me another beer, Nancy. My dad could probably have fixed the Apollo 13 spaceship enroute to the moon with nothing more than a 9/16” socket wrench and a cold Pabst Blue Ribbon. Nothing on my truck is 9/16. Nothing. Every single fitting requires some weird special tool, a different special tool. I got this thing for removing fuel line couplings that scares the shit out of me. It looks like something a gynecologist would use, I keep wanting to tell the truck, “Scoot down, scoot down…you’re going to feel some pinching…”
Even if you have the correct tool, and you probably don’t, you have to be a humpbacked left-handed four-armed double-jointed midget circus contortionist with infrared vision, seven fingered hands like boneless chickens, forearms like Popeye, and the ability to metabolize a mouth full of brake fluid in order to get the damned thing into the proper position. It helps if you can swear for twenty minutes without repeating yourself. Auto engineers consider it a design failure if you can a) get both hands on the tool at the same time, or b) can touch the wrench and see the fitting at the same time.
Auto manufacturers have been building the internal combustion engine for over one hundred years. Consider this: where’s the oil filter? One hundred goddamned years, folks, and this is the best they can do. It’s not like they don’t know you have to change the fucking oil. But for one hundred years the oil filter has been a metal can screwed onto some inaccessible part of the engine that can not be removed without pouring motor oil all over your face and the garage floor. One hundred years and this is the best design they can come up with?
When pigs fly, folks, when pigs fly.
If you need me, I’ll be in the garage.