It's a familiar rant: ''Where are our flying cars? They promised us flying cars.''
My buddy Guy launches into this one a couple times a month.
When we were kids in the 1960s, science experts filled our heads with visions of tooling around in flying cars by the year 2000.
The number 2000 seemed so far away that it would never show up.
But flying cars? Of course. We saw them every week on the ''The Jetsons.''
The animated sitcom displayed a space-age utopia in which robots performed all housework, capsules popped into instant full-course meals, easy chairs floated and malls orbited. And people zipped around in flying cars that folded up into convenient brief cases.
The year 2000 did come. And it went.
''Where are our flying cars?'' Guy demanded. ''They promised us flying cars.''
Last week, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk took a page out of the Hanna-Barbera scripts for ''The Jetsons'' with his grand idea for faster, safer, better travel - the hyperloop.
He described catapulting people in comfy capsules through tubes connecting major cities. You're fired like a shotgun and flung along the way by super magnets so quickly that the 400-mile trip between L.A. and San Fran, for example, would take 30 minutes instead of the hour a crummy ol' slowpoke jet takes.
''But it's not a flying car,'' Guy said. ''Where are our flying cars?''
Musk is the guy behind rocket-building company SpaceX, so he has a bit of airborne street cred. If he sees a hyperloop, it can happen. Even if cars are pitched like fastballs instead of, you know, flying.
Still, I can't help but picture a series of hyperloops similar to those rodent cities in pet stores, with hamsters scampering from station to station in long and looping tubes.
Except in Musk's world, little slingshots would zing the critters through the tubing:
Sproing. Whizzzzz! Plunk. Your hamster has reached its destination.
I'd never do that to a hamster. Maybe to one or two people I know, but never to a hamster. Hamsters have feelings.
I suppose this isn't quite what Musk had in mind. He sees space age. I see the U.S. skyline turned into a hamster city with people in the rat race whipping overhead through giant hamster tubes.
''And the flying cars? Where are the flying cars?''
Well guess, what, Guy. Rob Lovitt reported on NBC News earlier this month on the first public flight of the Transition, a flying car developed by Terrafugia Inc.
"We wanted to demonstrate some of the technology and infrastructure that's being deployed today that is actually making that Jetsons dream a reality,'' Carl Dietrich, co-founder and CEO of Terrafugia, told Lovitt.
After flying the Transition over the crowd, test pilot Phil Meteer landed, pushed a button, the car's wings folded up, and Meteer drove away.
It played more like James Bond than George Jetson, but the point is that maybe, just maybe, we'll finally get our flying cars.
Until then, try not to get stuck in place on the running wheel in the hyperloop's slingshot hamster city.
---- Cole's first novel, ''Bash and the Pirate Pig,'' releases Sept. 1 from B&H Kids. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.