Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Wright Brothers plane flying at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903. Today, 56 years later, the Man Will Never Fly Memorial Society was founded, also at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The society appears to be completely tongue-in-cheek, as evidenced by their “history” and “mission.” Still, you have to long any organization whose motto is “Birds Fly, Men Drink.”
Our Society was born at Kitty Hawk on one of those dark and windy nights when nothing flew; even the seagulls bounced from place to place like hoppy toads. Our founders, who had been invited to attend a ceremony on December 17, honoring a pair of bicycle mechanics from Dayton Ohio, began drinking and thinking on the evening of December 16. They drank and they thought until the myth of the Wright Brothers’ flight in 1903 became as hard to swallow as the bootleg rye they imbibed.
Thus was born the society’s motto: “Birds Fly, Men Drink”. And thus its purpose: Exposure of the widely held myth of machines moving through the air with men “flying” them. This myth, it was clear, had its origins in folklore, long before the Wright Brothers. First came the nonsense of Cupid flying through the air. Then there was the fairy tale of Pegasus, a winged horse. Next came the fabled Arabian carpet. And the bit of flummery about a flying stork that dropped babies down chimneys. Small wonder that humankind, nourished on such nonsense, would believe that bicycle mechanics could move through the air like winged fowl.
Accepting the challenge these myths have perpetuated, The Man Will Never Fly Memorial Society has fought the hallucination of airplane flight with every weapon at its command save sobriety. We remain dedicated to the principle that two Wrights made a wrong at Kitty Hawk.
Members of the Man Will Never Fly Society are not opposed to flight. Birds do it, Bees do it, even educated fleas do it, as Cole Porter once said. But when you stop to think about it, do you actually believe that a machine made of tons of metal will fly? Small wonder that the editor of a Dayton newspaper said, when informed of the mythical first flight in 1903. “Man will never fly. And if he does, he will never come from Dayton.”
The Society’s members believe that balloons fly, but we do not believe in flying machines. Indeed, members of the Society have proposed a variety of apparati for movement through the ozone. One of our members is even cultivating an enormous jumping bean which, when saddled and heated by a laser, will propel a human for great distances.
But let us hear no more of plane moving through the air, unless they are hurled by carpenters. Airports and airplanes are for the gullible. Little do “plane” passengers realize that they are merely boarding Greyhound buses with wings, and that while aboard these winged buses, given the illusion of flight when cloud like scenery is moved past their windows by stagehands in a very expensive theatrical performance.
We ask you to gather under our banner and combat the myth that man can, did, or will ever fly, except in his or her imagination.