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What’s Taking So Long With The Personal Jet Pack?

07 Feb

Like most people, I’ve been sitting around drumming my fingers on my desk for a long time, waiting impatiently for scientists to quit screwing around and invent an affordable, personal jet pack to fly around in.  I know that Colt Seavers used one in The Fall Guy about thirty years ago, and although I understand that supercool, crime-fighting stuntmen get access to technology before the rest of us, I’d have thought thirty years would be long enough.

If you’re having trouble remembering how cool Colt Seavers was, or whether or not he really had a jet pack, then by all means, drink in the opening credits to the series:

The jet pack is at about the thirty-five second mark.  The way it works when you are a stuntman who moonlights as a bounty hunter is, you can pretty much go wherever you want and do as you please.  That includes jet pack storage facilities.  Also, check out Heather Thomas in that show – it looks like she’s dying:

I think she’s saying, “Dudes, I am cold and starving, you have to let me come in and have some clothing and food.”

No way, Heather!  Get outside and keep sunbathing!

Well, raise your hand if you know what it’s like to work as a bikini girl for a crimefighting stuntman.  No one?

All right then, just absorb the cultural information and stop judging.  See, the whole point of watching an educational program like The Fall Guy is to experience the world from a new perspective.  You can’t learn if you’re too focused on squawking about starving, objectified women whose ribs you can count. 

And anyway, it’s been my experience that’s how most women like to walk into a house – almost entirely nude and then a doorway pose.  They’re from Venus and we’re from Mars, baby – don’t fight it.

Now anyway, if they were that close to a jetpack circa 1985, then what has been taking so long?  Did everybody just stop caring about jetpacks?  Did we – as a nation – lose our focus?

Not quite.  It turns out, lots of scientists used to watch The Fall Guy, and there have been various attempts at marketing personal jetpacks, but my research, errrrr email box, has uncovered just a couple of not-very-impressive attempts. 

Take a look at this one, the Jetlev water-powered jetpack:

This is nothing more than cartoon technology, like when Bugs Bunny’s rabbit hole gets filled with water really rapidly and then he’s sitting on the erupting plume of water, blithely disclosing to us that this means war. 

Kind of like a wave runner on a stick.  And there’s a big hose hanging off of it – you have to keep that hose attached at all times.

I mean, it’s just shy of a jetpack that you have to plug in.  I guess, you have to plug it into water.  What the hell am I supposed to do with that thing? 

The whole purpose of a jet pack is to be able to fly wherever you want.  With this thing, you have to stay right above the water.  So sure, you can fly, just like you can fly when you tie a parasail to a boat and let it tow you around.  You could also sit in the boat, like a normal person.

That’s not flying, it’s getting flown like a kite.

I really don’t know what to make of this thing.  The only two possible uses for a jetpack are crimefighting and super villainy.  And you can’t fight crime if you’re dependent on a long, plastic hose.  The bad guys would have a field day with you, like when Foghorn Leghorn painted that dog’s Rope Limit on the ground, so he could grab him by the throat and paint his tongue green.  The hose is just asking for trouble – I really can’t stress that enough.

And then you can forget super villainy, if you have to stay above water.  Might as well call Aquaman up on the phone and just point-blank ask him for an asskicking.

I just feel like my daughters have little wafer-thin computer screens the size of credit cards, and they can take them out of their pockets and watch television on them, and retina scans are here, and they’re talking about space-time cloaks and cloning mammoths

Why is the coolest-looking jetpack from 1985? 

I mean, here’s one called the Martin Jet Pack, which I couldn’t drag the video over here for some reason, but you can see it at the link.  And sure, you don’t have to have a hose attached to it and you don’t have to be above water, but it’s about the size of a garden shed. 

Pack, dudes, jet pack.  All you guys did was make a sort of motorcycle airplane with no seat – looks cool, sure, but check out Colt Seavers circa 1985:

See how patient I’m being here?  I mean, I guess I understand if that’s actually a one-of-a-kind piece of alien technology, and since only one person in the world could have it, the United Nations just naturally gave it to Colt Seavers.

But it’s almost thirty years later.  They’re knocking on the door of actual bionics, and you’re telling me this is the best we can do in the jetpack department?

We have to do better than this, America.  Not just for ourselves, but for Lee Majors and Heather Thomas and Foghorn Leghorn and for any American kid out there who ever dreamed of being a crimefighting bounty-hunting stuntman with his own jetpack and personal bikini girl sidekick.

Look yourselves in the eyes, America.  Is that too much to ask?

 

 

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4 responses to “What’s Taking So Long With The Personal Jet Pack?

  1. bex

    February 8, 2011 at 2:35 am

    hahaha – great post!

    totally with you on this one.

    and yes, as a woman, i always walk into house almost totally nude and pose in the doorway…

     
    • Tom Chalfant

      February 9, 2011 at 2:33 pm

      I’m telling you there’s no reason to fight it. Everybody is happier to see you, that way.

       
  2. Helen

    February 8, 2011 at 4:41 am

    The reason we don’t have jet packs is the airline lobby. They want to keep us chained to them!

    And yes, I am constantly posing in doorways. From the living room to the kitchen are two doorways. I barely make it back to my seat before the commercial is over!

     
    • Tom Chalfant

      February 9, 2011 at 2:33 pm

      Well, also the cheapest jet pack – the Jetlev up there – is about 125K. And that’s for the one that could never replace airplanes!

      I’ll tell you what, that picture of Heather up there really gives me the creeps. It’s amazing to me how much has changed with regards to what’s attractive and what’s not. These days, they are all about scantily clad women, to be sure, but they send them to the gym instead of starving them – or sometimes both. Heather looks like a horrific skeleton creature from the breasts down, and a mannequin from the breasts up!

       

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