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McCanless column: Where's Segway when you need it?

By Janet McCanless
For the Salisbury Post
Here it is summer once again, and everybody’s thoughts are turning to vacation.
I got to reminiscing the other day about some of my family vacations, especially since I probably won’t be able to afford one this year, and I realized that we didn’t do anything really spectacular for summer trips.
We used to spend the month of August at our cabin in the north woods of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, fishing every day, but for the most part, we stayed around home. There was always something going on, and oftentimes I would go and spend some time with one aunt and uncle or another. My cousins and I spent a great deal of time together, especially once school was out, so, they more or less were my vacation.
One year I had a garden, I remember, although that wasn’t necessarily a successful enterprise.
Of course, there was the annual 4th of July parade, and subsequent fireworks that night; we never missed those. My dad had a friend who played polo, so quite often we would drive to the polo match and watch it.
Then there were the baseball games. Many a day I would spend with a friend traveling to the ballpark to see the Chicago Cubs play a game. We didn’t have major league ball where we lived, so, since we most always traveled up north to see relatives, I always wanted to see a ballgame. That was back when the Cubbies were good, too!
My friend Diane and I saw the Brooklyn Dodgers play the Cubs once. You know that was a long time ago, because the Dodgers haven’t been in Brooklyn i a long time! Everybody referred to them as the bums back then.
Saw the Yankees too, when Mickey Mantle was playing for them. Oh what a sight he was, and, man, he could hit that ball; it went plum out of the park.
It seems there was always something to do, someplace to go, friends to pal around with.
My brother went to Boy Scout camp one year, so a passel of neighborhood kids and I got together and put on a “show” in one of the back yards.
All this was post-World War II, and times may have been tough, but we weren’t aware of it, unlike today, when it seems everybody is really feeling the pinch. They’ve even come up with a word to describe the lack of vacation money this year; it’s called homecation or staycation, because folks will be spending their off time in their own back yard.
I’ve been giving some thought to alternative modes of transportation, to offset the high gas prices.
Well, I rode on a motorcycle not that many years ago and found it quite to my liking. Wonder how it would be to zoom up to the grocery store on a big Harley?
There’s always a horse, of course, but, I don’t have the room to keep one, and they need lots of room for exercise. Not being able to stable a horse sort of negates the possibility of a horsedrawn carriage or wagon as well.
My brother and sister-in-law are celebrating 50 years of marriage this spring, and I would really love to be there to spend some time with them, I was, after all, at their wedding, but unless I can find a robot horse or some wealthy person leaves me a bunch of money, I can’t attend their celebration.
It’s a real bummer, too.
Then, I got an inspiration.
The Segway! You know, those two-wheeled ultra balanced battery powered vehicles that you can ride around on. They look like a whole bunch of fun, don’t require vet care or feeding, and no gas, It’s perfect! I’ve even seen some law enforcement riding around on them, and friends of mine at church recently took a Segway tour of Raleigh. They said it was exhilarating.
Just imagine the fun we would all have tooling around at 12 miles per hour on this thing. No parking meters to contend with, and I don’t think traffic would be much of a problem. Although I doubt we would travel far on them, when we did go, it would be so much fun! The city fathers could make Segway paths for us, and maybe some really innovative person could figure out a way to add big bicycle baskets on the front so we could carry stuff home on them.I’m telling you, it’s the answer to our problem. I wonder if you need a driver’s license to drive one?
Soon as I can, I’m grabbing the phone book and looking up a Segway store.
Anybody know where we can get one?

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