I just reviewed my long term goals, and I have written in (inked, not penciled):
"01/01/2000 – JETPACK ESSAY"
Ever since I was five, I’ve known that I would have a jetpack by the year 2000, so it made sense that I would write an essay describing the realization of my lifelong dream. You can imagine how dissapointed I was when I realized it wasn’t going to happen.
"But Joe," you say, "It’s not January yet! What about Christmas?" Well, obviously that was the plan. I figured I’d spend November browsing the S2K (Sears 2000) Wishbook, I’d circle my favorite designs, and Christmas morning I’d be zipping around the Hollywood Sign wearing my very own Jetpack. Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone, and if there are no Jetpacks ads on The Day After Thanksgiving, there will be no jetpack under the tree. That’s the way things work in the real world.
"So? What’s the big deal? Why not just get a rocketcar?" What can I say? Some people dream about rocketcars, others dream about waterslide-based public transportation – I dream about jetpacks. It’s not that I don’t want a rocketcar – I’m sure it’s a damn fine way to get around. Heck, I’ll probably have a family some day, and I’d love to have a rocket-stationwagon. That’s not the point. The point is that I was promised a jetpack, I’ve planned for it, and BY GOD I WANT MY JETPACK!
"Promised?" Yes, promised. I mean no, not directly. There was this television show on when I was a kid – I think it was called Beyond 2000 – anyway, on that show they would show you things that would be available in the future. I remember very clearly being told that I could have a jetpack. They showed that guy flying the Bell jetpack and they said that by the year 2000, they would be commercially available. I was sitting there at my TV tray, eating a bologna sandwich with a happy face cut out of it and drinking a big glass of Tang and the the guy on the television was flying around in his jetpack – flaunting it – and I thought "I can wait – it’s a long time, but I can wait." And I have. I’ve waited thirty long years. Patiently. I drove a Volvo in high school ferchrissakes. That’s about as far from a jetpack as you can get.
About 15 years ago, I thought I should start getting ready – I didn’t want to waste a bunch of time learning when they finally came out, after all… so I bought a motorcycle. Sure, it’s not a jetpack, but I figured that there would be some transferable skills. I even learned to scuba dive, figuring it would give me some practice along the dreaded z-axis. So here I am, a motorcycle riding, 3-D travelling self-contained breathing rocket man, with no rocket. If anyone out there is in marketing, or R&D, or works for a secret government agency with access to alien technology – and wants to know what I, the consumer, want: I WANT MY JETPACK! That, and a Nerf Blaster.