Pogo Stick Ejector Seat
Bloody kids! Some little tyke down our street has just been given a pogo stick for his birthday, and I'm sorry but I just don't hold with them. Oh I appreciate the engineering and the ingenuity that went into the design and development of the pogo stick, but I personally think that the whole pogo thing was a bit of a scientific blind alley.
Back in the twenties when Charles Pogo first invented his famous stick, we were told that it was going to be the latest thing in travel. The day of the motor car was over. The train was a thing of the past. Even the jet aircraft was going to have trouble keeping up, for the only hope of an efficient, economically viable integrated transport system lay in the pogo stick. People would commute into work on pogo sticks; they would travel the length and breadth of the country on vast, three-laned pogo highways; there would even be pogo services across the Atlantic - London to New York in a single bound. At one point London Transport was considering getting rid of all the trains in the Underground and replacing the tracks with smooth, pogo-friendly paving, until it was pointed out that there was a very serious danger of the pogoers smashing their brains in on the tunnel roofs.
Of course, it never happened. The trouble with pogo sticks is that you can't really carry a lot of luggage on one. Neither can you install a CD player, air conditioning or reclining seats. Plus, for the many people who suffer from travel sickness, cars are quite bad enough as it is - leaping about the place on a dirty great spring is going to do them no good at all.
They also don't do a great deal of good for my carrots. Let me explain. I am currently in the process of developing luminous carrots that can be seen in the dark, and I was growing my first experimental batch in a patch of ground down at the bottom of my garden. And they were doing quite well until the other day, when that little sod from down the street lost control of his birthday present, came bounding over the garden fence, mashed my prize carrots to a pulp then flew off and sailed right through the greenhouse.
Well, it's not on, is it? It's not right that people should be allowed to go careering about, smashing up people's vegetables with wild abandon. Something has to be done. Unfortunately the pogo stick is here to stay - there's nothing I can do about that - but there are a couple of modifications I can make to render the damn things safer for all concerned. Firstly, I have noticed that pogo sticks don't have brakes. This is a serious problem. Obviously it's very difficult to stop them once they get going, so I have suggested that all pogo sticks are fitted with an anchor, which can be hurled out behind the rider and bring the stick to a sudden stop.
However, an anchor is only really any good if it is able to hook onto something fairly hefty, such as a railing, a car or a large dog. If it should fail, the only option available to the pogoer is to abandon the vehicle. This is where my second modification comes in: the pogo stick ejector seat. When activated, this will launch the rider clear of the stick. A parachute will then deploy and the rider can float gently back down to earth, hopefully well away from my greenhouse.