864: Flying Cars
Title text: It's hard to fit in the backseat of my flying car with my android Realdoll when we're both wearing jetpacks.
Cueball is complaining to Megan, on a phone call on his smartphone, about the lack of flying cars even though it is the year 2011. This is a reference to the joke Where's my flying car? This was explored further in 1623: 2016 Conversation Guide where Randall proposes that flying cars would in fact just be helicopters.
Megan counters that phone technology has taken off. For example in many science fiction movies it was predicted that by now we would have flying cars, but in the same movies the computer technology was pretty much similar to what they had achieved at the time of the movies release (see for instance Blade Runner set in 2019; even back in 2011 very few believed that flying cars would roam the streets by then.) The flying car is still not perfected (although there are some prototypes flying today). But almost any computer technology shown in old movies pales in comparison to the current state of smartphones and other computers.
Cueball chooses to be resentful about the lack of flying cars while calling her from a phone on which he can buy and read books. He should instead be amazed at the current state of computers and communication technology. She continues to say that she even interrupted him in playing a 3D shooter game on his phone, when she called him. And the call could have been a video call, had it not been because Megan chose not to do so, since she is currently shirtless.
Typically Cueball keeps fixating on the flying car (he wants everything) instead of the 'important' part here: Megan is topless! (i.e. NSFW. This may be the only time in xkcd it is certain that she is depicted like this, but Cueball is shown naked in 1977: Paperwork, see also 566: Matrix Revisited). But like many people, Cueball is missing the forest while looking for a particular tree. And Megan assumes that if he ever had a flying car he would crash it while using his smartphone to text or play Angry Birds (a game released in 2009, two years before this comic). Given that many car accidents happens because people use their phones while driving, this seems a realistic assumption.
The title text references RealDoll, known as "the world's finest lovedoll", but specifically an android version, which the world has yet to see. This is a direct callback to the android series. It also refers to jet packs, another invention that many people were expecting to have by this point in time. Cueball complain on in the title text that there is not enough space on the backseat of his flying car to have sex with his android girlfriend when they are both wearing their jet packs. (Maybe they would wear those for safety purposes when flying in a car while having sex... Even if it is a self-driving flying car...)
This strip is quoted at the top of the TV Tropes article I Want My Jet Pack, having a similar theme to the strip.
- [Cueball, looking right, is talking on his phone held up to his left cheek. The reply from Megan is shown to come from the phone with a zigzag line.]
- Cueball: It's 2011. I want my flying car.
- Megan (over the phone): Dude.
- [In a frame-less panel Megan, looking left, is talking with Cueball over her phone, which she holds up to her left cheek.]
- Megan: You're complaining to me using a phone on which you buy and read books,
- [Zoom in on topless Megan as she takes the phone down in front of her looking at it and talking to it.]
- Megan: And which you were using to play a 3D shooter until I interrupted you with what would be a video call if I were wearing a shirt.
- [Cueball is now also looking down at his phone held in front of him, talking to it. Again the reply from Megan is shown to come from the phone with a zigzag line.]
- Cueball: Can't I have a flying car, too?
- Megan (over the phone): You'd crash it while texting and playing Angry Birds.
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