I’ve got some great news for all of you good ol’ boys and geeks out there. Yeah, I know. How often do the stars align for Billy Bob and William Robert to find joy in the very same thing? Here it is. Amazon is planning on using drones to deliver packages. I know. How good is that? To get a real sense of how putting a few thousand package delivering drones into the air increases entertainment value in both cow pastures and urban landscapes, I visited two of my characters, Junior Pendleton and Izzy Zydeco to give their unique views on the subject.
I dropped in on Junior at the Huntsville State Penitentiary. He’s still a bit rattled by the bicycle rights terrorist, Cherry’s, rather ruckus visit (you’ll have to read DIRTY WATER to learn more). However, when I mentioned we might be talking about shooting stuff, he was all in.
Richard: Thanks for taking time out of your highly regimented and confined day for me.
Junior: Whatever you’re here to accuse me of, well I ain’t done it. Well, probably I did, but ain’t admitting nothing without my attorney present.
Richard: No worries, Junior. I want to talk with you about Jeff Bezos proposal to deliver packages by drone.
Junior: Always liked that clown. Although he’s a bit scary looking with all that red hair and that big old nose.
Richard: Not Bozo the Clown. Bezos, the CEO of Amazon. He wants to deliver packages using flying drones, you know, like little helicopters.
Junior: Well, I’ll be damned. (He leans back, hand behind his head, staring at a point somewhere above my head.) Could be fun.
Richard: Yes, that’s what I wanted to ask you about. What sorts of things do you imagine you and other like minded souls would do if you had Amazon drones flying over your property.
Junior: You kiddin’? Shoot ‘em. Yessir. Shoot those birds right out of the sky. They are on my god given sovereign air space, just like a turkey or duck or one of those damned grackles…
Richard: Given that you can carry a loaded AK-47 down the street in broad daylight, I suppose looking up to shoot a drone wouldn’t be too much of a stretch.
Junior: Stretch? Hell no! Besides, we’re talking about ‘alien’ drones from Amazon. I say shoot first, ask questions later. That’s what I did when that balloonist flew over my land. Trust me. Them wicker baskets don’t offer much in the way of protection. And I still don’t know why he didn’t have armor around his propane tank. I can still see that ol’ boy running from the wreckage when his tanks exploded. Whew! What a sight.
Richard: I’m not going to press the point that your way of thinking is what landed you in prison and just move on to other thoughts that come to you when you think of drones delivering packages.
Junior: Lemme see, here. You know, not that I’ve done this, but I’ve heard people follow UPS trucks and snag packages right off people’s porches. Of course with the price of gasoline and those damned web cams, it’s getting harder to do the deed and make a clean get away. So how’s about this? I follow me one of those alien drones and when I say I, I don’t mean me. So I follow the drone and then BLAM!. Shoot that sucker right out of the sky, crack open its little bucket like a piñata and make off with an XBox or some trousers or a lawn sprinkler or something. Now I would never do something like that, but I imagine someone with a mind sharper than my own will come up with it.
Richard: Thanks for you time–
Junior: Wait. I ain’t finished yet. Here’s another good one. Dynamite. Tie one to a helium balloon or put it under your own remote controlled helicopter, swing in close to one of them alien drones and KABLAM!! Now that’d be something to see.
I left Junior in the good hands of the Texas prison system and then got on a video call with Izzy Zydeco, bastard son of Governor Fran Adamson and virtual gaming entrepreneur. We won’t mention the whole illegitimate son thing since it’s a sore point for him. After some small talk we got right to it.
Izzy: I’m happy to share some of my brilliance with you. Of course, delivery drones will be a sea change in online gaming. Imagine, international teams of gamers controlling drones they’ve rented on a per minute basis to attack delivery drones.
Richard: I don’t think I understand, Izzy. Why would gamers want to shoot down a delivery drone?
Izzy: Were you born in a cave? Points, of course. If they’ll pay real money to buy virtual weapons and armor to get points, imagine what they’d pay to use a real flying weapons platform. We could add little machine guns, laser guided mini-missiles, the list is endless. Of course, they could always just ram them mid-air.
Richard: All for points. Wouldn’t they worry about breaking the law?
Izzy: I’m talking ultra-secure servers and heavy weight encryption. Not even the NSA will be able to figure out who pulled the trigger.
Richard: Although, they’d probably post their video and brag about the points they’re accumulating. So I would think the FBI–
Izzy: You are in a little box, man. Laws. Geeze, if I worried about breaking the law I’d never have become the success I am.
Richard: Kind of my point, Izzy. You’re advocating criminal activity.
Izzy: Hey, are you on a secure line?
Izzy ended the call and I have been unable to locate him. However, I think we can take away three things from these expert opinions:
- Delivery drones are coming
- Asking a guy in a cow pasture with a gun to not shoot down a passing drone is a bit too much to ask.
- The next big video game? Drone Killer.