Where are the jet packs we were promised?

Remember those films in school 40 years ago where a grandfatherly scientist-type like Arthur C. Clarke told you about the wonderful things you’d get in the future?

Things you can only dream of, we were told. And we’re still dreaming of jet packs. They’d go really well with me right now because of the daily traffic tie-ups I get living in a city with only two entrances/exits, both on long bridges over large bodies of water.

I think the answer is simple. There are no jet packs because the same idiot drivers we have on the road now – would be the same idiot drivers in the air.
They’d run into power lines, tall buildings downtown and the aforementioned bridges.

And that would be just the sober ones.

We’d have to learn how to fly the darn things, get a license, keep them repaired and get them inspected every year.

Not to mention that the car and gas companies would pay off enough senators to vote them down anyway.

Probably best just to stay on our current path: going nowhere in a hurry, and that wonderful simple confusion we all love.

* * *

Last year I did my annual column about stupid commercials.

I haven’t gotten around to this year’s full list but here’s a few that will definitely make you reach for that channel-changer.

• The doofuses at Sonic: They need a disclaimer at the bottom that reads, “Studies have shown that all of our customers are not this stupid.”

• Rascal Flatts for Hershey: Where do they get the electricity to play a concert in the middle of a desert?

• Staples: “Wow! That’s a low price !!!” Hey! That’s an annoying commercial !!!

• Ulcerative colitis: A woman looks at the camera and says, “The pain – is bad.” Which makes me ask, “Is there any GOOD kind of pain?”

* * *

Today I was thinking about Andrew Gold. Remember him?

Unless you’re an ardent fan who keeps up with his blog and Web site and newsletter, you probably know him as writer/singer of “Lonely Boy” and “Thank You For Being A Friend” (later  used on “The Golden Girls”).

“Lonely Boy” was about, I’m fairly certain, a lonely boy. He gets born in 1951 and later becomes rather ticked off when his sister comes along a few years later.
We hear the line, “Well he ran down the hall and he cried. Oh how could his parents have lied? When they said he was the only son, he thought he was the only one.”

Now I know the kid was only 3 or 4 but children that age are pretty perceptive.

He didn’t notice his mom’s tummy looked like a watermelon for like, three months? Not to mention morning sickness and all that?

C’mon Andrew Gold, get with the program. Stop living in that whacked-out hippie world of yours, Andrew Gold, where the evil woodlands gnome is trying to kill Ringo Starr.

I don’t know what is worse, Andrew Gold – punching holes in a 30-year-old song or not being able to write a decent column?

YOU decide, Andrew Gold.

YOU decide.

[Robert Hankins actually likes “Lonely Boy.” E-mail him at robert1961@live.com]