High tech fireflies


The other day I came across an old friend. It was a children’s book called “Sam and the Firefly.” You might remember it, it was around when I was a kid, and my kids loved it. Now that I found it again, I can introduce it to the grandkids. It’s all about an owl and a firefly who hang out together at night. They have fun making words in the air with the firefly’s light.

To make a short story shorter, the firefly pulls some pranks with his lighted words and gets in trouble but redeems himself when he stops a train by writing “STOP” in great big lighted letters in the air. The train stops and avoids a big crash, and everybody’s happy.

The point of all this is, about the time I was fondly skimming through the story again, a train went by. He must have had a bunch of extra passengers in the cab, and they must’ve had nowhere to sit but on the horn. It went on and on and on… 

And naturally, I thought, “Boy, I wish I had a really smart firefly that could write messages in the air; I would send him out right this minute to that train and say, “knock it off!”

But of course, that’s silly. You can’t train fireflies, and even if you could, they only live about two months, so just about the time you got one trained, it would die. Very inefficient. 

The good news is that we live in an age of high technology! Surely people who live next to railroad crossings should be able to order some sort of sign from Amazon that would say whatever they want. For a few bucks more, get a drone with a message board!

Wouldn’t it be great if we had our own tiny, private drones that flashed messages wherever and whenever we wanted?

We could tell the trains to shut up. Or, if the engineer was courteous and only tooted gently, we could say, “Thank you! You’re great!” 

But it wouldn’t be limited to just trains. When people are following too close, we could send our little message drone to say, “Back off!” 

When you have to go down the highway in a slow old tractor, and traffic begins to back up, we could say, “Chill out! I’ll get over as soon as I can!”

And when you see someone driving like an idiot, you can just tell them, “Quit driving like an idiot!” This would come in very handy if the idiot happens to be someone you know. As long as they didn’t know you had a message drone, you could say anything you wanted to them and still be friends.

But maybe wishing for a personal message drone is like wishing for a trained pet firefly – just fantasy. Still, keep watching for all the new tech gadgets coming out. Someday someone will invent something like this. 

And if you don’t pay any attention to the new tech gadgets coming out, don’t worry. You will know they have been invented when you see a message flashing above your car saying, “Quick driving like an idiot!”

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