For over two months, people living in Los Angeles have been warned that Caltrans (the California Department of Transportation) is planning to add a carpool lane to the 405. The 405 is the main route between the San Fernando Valley and the City of Los Angeles, not to mention LAX, one of the busiest airports in the country. This announcement is creating quite a bit of havoc as the shutdown is set for tonight and will last for the weekend.
Fortunately, the San Fernando Valley is home to some of the most affluent neighborhoods of the region, including Studio City, Burbank, and Glendale. Where there’s lotsa money, there’s lotsa hope. As soon as news of the freeway shutdown hit the airwaves, the Martin Aircraft Company located in New Zealand began to receive so many phone calls, it had to add an extra line.
Manufacturer of the famous, one-of-a-kind Martin Jetpack, which is a personal flying machine, Martin Aircraft is reporting record sales, and the company began shipping the orders last week. The “no training required” jetpack kits come complete with assembly and flying instructions. Once removed from the box and assembled, the jetpacks are ready to fly in just minutes.
This latest trend has caught the FAA completely off guard and a spokesperson for the FAA cautions, “while these jetpacks are being marketed as a safer and more effective alternative to driving the 405, without proper testing, folks who have purchased these jetpacks should be extremely cautious when jumping into the 21st Century.”
Unfortunately, Henry Simpleton of Studio City, one of the first residents to receive his Jetpack kit in the mail, didn’t heed that advice. Once assembled, Simpleton fired it up, gave the thumb’s up signal and took off. Several feet in the air, he took his hand off the controls to wave to everyone, yelling “Hey, look at me. I’m Buck Rogers,” and crashed to the ground.
Fortunately, Simpleton walked away with only scrapes and bruises, but his antics sent a message to all the other millionaires in the area who are set to take their maiden voyages this weekend, “Keep both hands on the controls and for God’s sake, don’t show off.
In a related news story, an unofficial spokesperson of the company claims former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has purchased several of the backpacks in order to be able to make better time flying from one mistress’ home to the next without being unduly inconvenienced. If you happen to spot him flying above you while you are stuck in traffic...wave.