Today we look at the timeless question, Would you rather have a Pony or a Unicorn? Seems simple enough. Only a mentally injured person would rather have a pony. First let’s list all the Unicorn advantages:
1) They are magical. 2) Many of them can fly. 3) They are incredibly gentle, and a favorite of little kids everywhere. 4) They have no care and feeding requirements, apparently live forever, and they have never caused a moment’s distress to any living thing. They are so nice I have it on good authority that when they fart it smells like roses and small cloud of butterflies are gently released.
Above the Classic unicorn. Almost always found near waterfalls or ends of rainbows.
Above, typical pony. White one is deciding to kick or bite photographer; probable answer: both. You do not need a scratch and sniff application to understand that this animal does not smell like roses.
Disadvantages of Ponies: 1) They are mean. 2) They require care, including tasks like de-worming. 3) They smell, and they like to defecate at random. 4) All ponies understand that for the last 10,000 years man has enslaved their kind, made them work in coal mines, horrific children’s parties and participate in one-way arctic explorations. Man has even dined on them. Given a moments in attention on your part, any pony will strike a blow for his species. Look it up, ponies and burros team up to kill 6,000 humans on this planet each year, mostly in third world countries, but they also know where you live. You may have read and loved Misty of Chincoteague as a kid, but Ponies still view you as a legitimate combatant. Ponies are ‘inhuman’ like that.
basically, Unicorns are better than ponies in almost every single way describable….With one somewhat important exception. There is no such thing as a Unicorn.
Except in Experimental Aviation of course, where unicorns are alive and well, written about all the time, they have websites devoted to them, and magazine editors write glowing testimonials about them all the time. If you would like to see one in person, go to any airshow, dress well, fatten your wallet with folded paper and hold your check book and a pen in your hands. Walk up and down the rows of vendors and you will meet unicorn breeders by the score.
Now, just like puppies, you can’t take a new unicorn home right away. You can pick him out, select some options and leave a deposit, but most unicorn breeders will explain to you that your new unicorn is “just coming out of development,” and will ship shortly.
Some breeders are “expanding” so rapidly, that they will offer you a ground floor position at “Aero-corns LLC,” which will entitle you to a pick of the new litter, which is just 60-90 days from delivery, if you are just willing to become an investor in their new stable.
I have been in the business of ponies for more than 20 years. We teach how to breed your own and how feed it and care for it. I teach people how to make a pony work with you if you raise it from the beginning, feed it well and always treat him with respect. Countless times in the last two decades I have had people new to aviation ask “Why would I want a fat 225 pound pony when I can have a 178 pound Unicorn?” and “Why would I bring up my own Pony if he is only going to live 1500 hours? I just read a brochure that says every Unicorn lives between 3000 hours and forever.” and lets not forget “Why is your Pony so thirsty? They have Unicorns that work just as hard and only drink 2.2 gallons/hr.” It goes on and on, and the people who ask these things regard me as mentally ill for sticking with my Pony. I try my best to be polite because I know that the sure sign of mental illness is not being able to distinguish between reality and make believe.
My introduction to “Unicorns are better than ponies” began here. The above photo is from 1995. I am on the left, leading the All Embry-Riddle team that built the First V-8 lancair. In the background, N420HP. It went on to be on the cover of the July 1997 sport aviation. In the Oshkosh air race, the plane logged a blistering 385 mph measured leg. This was one bad pony. The booth next to ours was a Unicorn factory named “Eagle LLC”. They had little more than a firewall mock-up of a V-8, nothing even ground running. Their signs said their target was a calculated 360 mph, something we had already eclipsed the day before. Through the magic of Unicorns and 24 hour Kinko’s, all their signs were revised the next day to say their calculations now were 400 mph. All week-long people asked us why our aircraft was “slower than Eagles.” Our engine guru Al Jonic pointed out that we could never make a real plane go as fast as an imaginary one. Few people listened, Unicorns are more interesting than any pony, Even a pony who’s name is Four hundred twenty horse power. (N-420HP).