2192. Jet pack

I’m a little bit out of touch, so I can’t instantly recall what those things are called. You put them on your back like a weed-spraying pack and take off into the air. It’s sort of jet propulsion or something. I remember when one was used during an Olympic Games Opening Ceremony years ago. These days they’re so common that a loaf of bread at an Olympic Games Opening Ceremony would be more spectacular. Everyone, just everyone, has got one.

The air can get quite cluttered. It always amuses me to see a parent taking their kids to school. It’s like a parental duck and the babies – except ducklings can’t fly.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you about my great-aunt Sylvia and what happened to her when she donned one of those things. She had been harping for years about wanting to try flying. Are they called jet packs? I don’t have one. Everyone calls me old-fashioned; I still drive an electric car. And I must admit that the state of the roads these days is atrocious.

“You’re too old to fly alone in the air,” we told Aunt Sylvia. But she wouldn’t listen. She made a heap of dough with that pretend money they have so she’s not short a pretty penny, and before you knew it she’d gone and bought one of those contraptions.

“Look Aunt Sylvia,” we said. “If you must try it let’s go to the park and try it where there’s space.”

But Aunt Sylvia would have none of it. She put the thing on at home and went out to the back yard. I swear I never knew those things could take off so fast. Aunt Sylvia shot into the air like a catapult out of a cannon. She hit the top of a tall maple tree and got hooked up there.

“Just use the machine to come down,” we all shouted. But she said she didn’t trust the thing. So we had to call the Fire Brigade to come and rescue her. These days, of course, they don’t use ladders; they simply put a couple of those packs onto a couple of Fire Brigade people and they do the rest. So Aunt Sylvia was rescued.

She said that never again would she touch the dangerous things. But she must’ve because we found her with a broken neck about a month later when she’d flown crash-bang into the concrete wall of an outside handball court.

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