When we go on vacation, there’s a universal tradition that applies to all of us. Namely, it states that no matter how carefully you prepare, there’s always one item you’ll forget, so we’ll offer a suggestion or two to help you complete your list with something you just might have overlooked.

Almost everyone plans to barbecue or picnic, and ya gotta have good tools, but at least one knife won’t be sharp enough, so you’ll need the European Smooth And Serrated Knife Sharpener. Why, even I can do it. There are two precision ground tungsten carbide rods positioned so that just a couple of strokes through the patented spring-action ‘V’ they form can achieve a “professional-quality superior cutting edge without damaging the blade” in seconds. Complete instructions are permanently printed on its base, mounted on rubber feet to prevent scratching your countertop (These Austrians think of everything). Fire up the grill, and you’re ready to barbecue to your heart’s content. One of those tall hats and your “Hug The Chef” apron will complete the picture.

They aren’t shy about the price, either, but when you gotta cut, you gotta cut, so you probably won’t mind the $119.95 price (S&H extra).

If by some chance your itinerary takes you to Scotland, you can surprise the family by practicing your bagpipe skills. No instrument? Never fear, a set of World Championship Bagpipes is offered in Scotland by Mr. Alastair Dunn, who led the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, winner of eleven World Championships playing these Hardie-made pipes – the very best

Of course, you’ll have to supply the kilt and one of those tall black fur hats (called a ‘busby’, or a bearskin) and the rest of the uniform, but just think how proud your ancestors will be as you carry on the family tradition.

Including the $1,700.00 bagpipe cost, your preparations will set you back around $4,000.00 to be an almost-authentic Scotsman, but once you hear their enchanting call you won’t be able to put them down – no matter how much the neighbors beg and plead.

If you’re heading for the ocean, we can suggest the most practical piece of equipment – one that will lay to rest even the greatest awe, respect and fear of our friends the sharks.

You can have your very own Chainmail Sharkproof Suit which will protect you from head to toe in stainless steel – two layers in the vulnerable areas – described as “the sharkproof stainless steel chainmail dive suit that protects marine biologists and shark experts head-to-toe”.

Yes, you too can impress the heck out of your buddies and thumb your nose at the local sharks for just $7,500.00. (For complete information, they offer details at their 800 telephone number.)

To your chainmail suit, add the remote control Undersea Video Drone, which operates as deep as a hundred feet. When its radar and camera show fish, it can release up to four ounces of bait to attract even more, and the picture can be transmitted to your smartphone, high and dry topside. It costs a mere $1,900.00, and with the chainmail suit completes your underwater outfit, ready for hours and hours of exploration and entertainment.

If you’d rather stay dry, we can offer you the Long Range Cruiser, a three-wheeler with a 45 mile range on a single charge and a top speed of 18 mph. With its armchair-type seat (which reclines), twin rearview mirrors, front and rear brakes, and your choice of blue, red, orange, silver or black, you’re ready for the thrill of the open road and the wind in your hair for up to three hours per recharge. Hand over $3,500.00 and head for those faraway places. (Hell’s Angels jackets extra.)

For more conventional folks, there’s a rear storage basket for shopping trips.

Finally, want to have reassurance when you drive? Take a Folding Electric Bicycle in your car’s trunk, just in case. When your car poops out, unfold this little six-speed life-saver and continue with your errands at up to 20mph for eighteen miles between recharges, or even farther if you help it along by pedaling, and this freedom from worry costs only $1,500.00.

Well, there’s the list. What more could a person ask? You now have a range of choices to help enjoy your vacation time.

All you need now is someone to pay for them.


— Newton columnist Mike Morton writes weekly for the Kansan. He can be reached at m24r24fm8445@att.net