I was talking to my friend, Mike, today, about taking another family vacation and how we didn’t want to drive too far or too long. The reasons for this are obvious to anyone that read the past column, “Summer Vacation.”
Then we got to thinking about certain, special features that family style cars should have as standard equipment. The first that came to mind are ejector seats, as seen in James Bond movies and fighter jets. The passenger seat would be standard, with the rear seats done as an option. Since the wife sits in front, and the kids in back, it’s more important to eject the wife if she becomes unruly during a long trip.
If you ejected the kids, it would be a waste, since you would just have to turn around and get them, reinstall the seats and tend to whatever injuries they may have incurred. The wife would be on her own, just for being annoying.
Another great idea comes from the 1960’s television series, “Get Smart,” and that would be the Cone of Silence. Imagine driving down the road, with this plastic bubble covering the driver, totally isolated from the family. This may slow down the need to use the ejector seats.
Since the cone is clear plastic, the driver would be able to see all around as he or she normally would, but be isolated, totally, from the raucous and annoying family. He wouldn’t have to hear “Are we there yet?” or “Slow down, you’re going to fast!” The only thing he would have to listen to is his favorite music and the sweet silence the cone offers.
Then, if the kids are fighting with each other, he could lower the Cage of Silence over each of them. It’s the same as the cone, except it is made of three layers. The inside layer is a smooth, clear plastic. The middle layer has fine strands of Kevlar woven into it, and the top layer would be polycarbonate plastic, which doesn’t crack or scratch. Let’s see the little rug rats get out of those things!
You wife, sitting in the passenger seat, would get her own cage. Hers has a blue tooth link for her phone or other electronic devices. Then dad could lift up his cone and drive in blissful peace.
This talk about a driving vacation all started because airfares have gone up dramatically the last couple of months for no apparent reason. How can a fare that was $1200 6 weeks ago go up to almost $2000? Has jet fuel increased in price so much that the fare almost doubled?
My original plan was to visit my uncle in Portland, OR but I don’t think that’s going to happen. We haven’t been out there in many years, and I really do love Portland. It’s a beautiful city, with many things to do, and great things to eat, including Voodoo Donuts. Melissa and I really want to go there.
I thought of the following places to drive to, with none of them being more than an eight-hour drive. This list is in no particular order: Washington, D.C., Ocean City, Maryland, Highland, NY and Williamsburg, VA.
The flyaway destinations would include Tampa, FL, Charlotte, NC or Charleston, SC. I briefly considered Amtrak to Charlotte or Charleston, but those rides are 13 hours or more. That’s not as bad as sitting in a car, but it’s still slow torture.
Therefore, my dilemma is clear, and I have no idea what to do other than not wanting to spend a lot of money. Wish me luck and let’s get those ejector seats installed, immediately.
Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.
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