If you've ever seen those old news reels from the 30's to 60's, you've likely seen those wacky "house of the future" reels, with grand promises of what your life would be like, thanks to the miracles of science. My friend Cliff once sent an angry (but humorous) email to the government, wanting to know where his flying car, as promised by those reels, was.
Well, a month or three later, I clipped an article from a newspaper regarding a company that was actually trying to build one. I also happened to be contracting to the Alberta Government at the time, and managed to steal some envelopes and stationary...
Re: P.A.T. Unit(s)
Dear Mr. Riseborough, C.
We have received and processed your recent e-mail regarding personal airborne transportation.
It should be pointed out that neither the Provincial nor Federal Government have currently, nor at any point in the past, made guarantees regarding the feasibility or distribution of personal airborne transportation units. While it is true that a few news programmes of the fifties and sixties did contain stories regarding 'flying cars', On further examination you will find that these news reels originated from the United States Government and/or private corporations.
However, we appreciate your interest in future transportation technologies and would like to assure you that the Alberta Government is firmly committed to meeting the technological needs of tomorrow. We are excited by the possibilities such technology may offer, but remain focused on safety, environment and economic issues such technologies would inevitably raise. Our primary concern is the impact this or any other technology would have on Albertans.
Although neither the Alberta nor Federal Government is actively developing the personal airborne transportation technology, several private Canadian and U.S. Companies are active in the field. Enclosed, find an article for your interest.
The main reason for this communiqué, however, arises from a number of newly created positions within the Alberta Government. You are no doubt aware of the year two-thousand computer problem and the amount of work being invested into fixing it. As these projects draw to a close new budgetary funds are becoming available.
Your original e-mail showed an obvious talent for humor and misdirection; skills we feel may be assets in certain publicity and training related employment opportunities. For example, had the Alberta or Federal Government truly been secretly keeping "flying cars" from the populous, as your e-mail implied, it would be to the Government and tax-payers advantage to have copy-writers working to properly contain such an endeavor.
Of course, I use this merely as an example. It should be reiterated that neither the Alberta nor Federal Government is actively developing the personal airborne transportation technology.
We appreciate your comments, they help us build a stronger Alberta. I look forward to seeing some samples of your work.