The Transport of the Future

I yelled out a furious obscenity as the Buick dropped down into my lane.  I slammed my foot down on the air brake, the rear flaps opening to full as I frantically tried to slow my car.  The driver in front of me was idling along; he couldn’t have been going faster than eighty.  I barely managed to avoid removing his trunk.

“Are you freaking kidding me!?” I yelled at my windshield.  “What are you doing, merging right in front of me?  We could have both been killed!”

Still shaking with rage, I hit my signal and merged to the left.  I slammed my foot down on the accelerator, enjoying the visceral rush as the dual-injected Hexagon engine sent blue flames out the back of my car and boosted me easily past the idiot Buick.  I held out my middle finger to the driver, an elderly man hunched over the wheel and squinting through thick glasses, as I roared past.

“Moron,” I muttered to myself.  Glancing ahead, I noted that the lane ahead was occupied by a large freight truck, its engine struggling just to barely meet the speed limit.  I glanced in my overhead mirror, and then merged upward.

I had barely centered myself in the upper lane, however, when I heard an angry honk from behind my vehicle.  I glanced at my mirrors just in time to catch a blurred Corvette as it raced past.  I glanced down at my speedometer and estimated that the driver had to be doing at least fifty over the limit.  “You’re crazy!” I shouted at the rapidly shrinking blue flames zooming ahead of me.

I shook my head slightly as I checked the cruise control.  Man, I had always thought that flying cars would solve all the problems.  I can still remember being stuck in gridlock down in 2D, wishing that I could just zoom over everybody else.

The problem, of course, is that I wasn’t the only one who leaped at the opportunity to pick up a flying car.  They were being offered at aggressive discounts to the senior citizens, to boost sales.  Businessmen were being sold on their straight-as-an-arrow efficiency, soccer moms were being sold on twenty-airbag safety systems, and mod kits were letting anybody with an old beater and a few grand get their worthless hunk of metal airborne.  And if gridlock is frustrating in two dimensions, just imagine it in three.

I continued to make my way home, weaving through the maze of constantly shifting, slowly moving drifters, losers, and hobbits.  No wonder I was always more stressed getting home than when I finished work – it wasn’t the job, it’s the ride home!

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