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Drones and what they would replace
Victor Pisano
Victor Pisano lives in Richmond Hill's Ford Plantation. - photo by File photo

Most folks think that the US Postal Service invented the quote, "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." But it did not. It actually came from the Greek historian, Herodotus, 2,500 years ago and not much has changed in that regard since — until recent history.

During the 19th century, some really short-sighted thinkers came up with the bright idea of the Pony Express in order to facilitate "swifter completion of their appointed rounds." Now there was a myopic idea to run with. Race a series of quarter horses into the ground, cross-country, just to deliver an outdated newspaper? That computer model ended quickly, lasting only a year and a half, 1860-1861.

The Pony Express job application read, "WANTED: Young, skinny, wise fellows, not over eighteen, must be excellent riders, willing to risk death daily — orphans preferred. $25 per week." The invention of the telegraph 16 months later pulled the reins on that adventurous money-making scheme.

The job description for delivering mail has appreciably changed a bit since then.

Now we have corporate geeks who are just as short-sighted. They have added their own brand of absurdity into the mix by introducing drones designed to deliver the mail. This proposed mailing system replaces the pony and jockey fiasco.

Drones delivering mail is a really mindless concept which the geek-world is trying to foist upon we the people of common sense. Call me old-fashioned, but I believe this drone delivery thing will never fully get off the ground.

Here’s why.

Visualize shiny little pilotless helicopters zipping door-to-door crosscountry all over the place like a swarm of mosquitos with four buzzing razorblade props spinning in the air and carrying precious little packages under their bellies. Think about how ridiculous that would be in the "real" world. I’m just a country guy, and I know for a fact, that if any of these drone aircraft with exposed razorblade propellers flies over my neighbor’s property and his protected airspace, there would be four distinct sounds coming from his yard; "BUZZ." "PULL!" "BLAM!" and "TINKLE-TINKLE." My neighbor would then lower his double-ought and call back to his wife inside the house,

"Honey!? Just shot me ‘nuther one o’them there flyin’ mycanical clay pigeons!"

Or imagine one of those death-drones with exposed razorblades flying into a yard somewhere where a happy little kid runs up to it knowing that he was getting a package from his grandma? His mother runs out of the door yelling,

"Johnny! Don’t touch that!" Only Johnny loses several fingers trying to retrieve his gift. Do you see my point? How absolutely absurd is this concept? It has class-action lawsuit written all over it. This notion too will never last 16 months.

The manipulation of corporate geeks who propose this folly rivals only the whacko concept of delivering newspapers cross-country by orphaned teenage daredevils. Growing up, my father called this, "lacking a sense of consequence."

Taking away the jobs of everyday folks who deliver things to us is becoming commonplace. Driverless cars, driverless trucks, pilotless aircraft, are all now being proposed. What are they really taking out of the equation? Us, we the people. Why? Are we expected to do nothing by ourselves? According to some, we are — and then they attempt to find a way to make a profit out of us standing around doing nothing.

We are moving toward a society where we don’t have to look, interact or be near anyone. I’m not so sure that’s a good thing, like the constant whirring of razorblades over my overhead.

Me? I’m more likely now to shake someone’s hand or to slap them on the back acknowledging their accomplishments — especially my congenial mail delivery person.

Something to think about while you’re shaving.

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