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"Bun is such a sad word, is it not?" -- Watt, "Waiting for Godot"
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My coworker, we'll call her "Jane" is about as sure-footed as a quadriplegic dog. She has this tendency, especially lately, to take the energetically efficient way down flights of stairs.
While humorous, and good for the pocketbooks of local physicians, it does annoy her a bit. Especially when people
around her say things like, "Yar, the ship's doctor did a fine job of puttin' on yer peg leg, sez I." And stuff like that.
For her part, "Jane" now refuses to go down steps without handrails. Understandable, but that does limit her to only about half the steps in the area.
The Personal Handrail solves this problem and others like it. Unfolded, it's shaped like a capital Pi, with rubber feet. Each leg is independently adjustable, with a spring-loaded ratcheting system to allow the legs to shorten and lengthen based on the pitch of the stairs.
Squeeze the handle's contoured grip, while pressing the ratchet release button with your thumb (to prevent accidental release), and the legs adjust as needed at the top or bottom of the flight of stairs. Release the grips, and the legs stay in place. Simply put in place, lean on the handrail as you go down a step or two, and pick it up and set it down again.
For a little added stability, the legs would actually have two feet each, a few inches apart. When unfolding, the feet are rotated from a position parallel to the handle to orthogonal. Feet would rubber-capped, for no-impact use.
When folded, the device would necessarily be as long as the comfortable distance from the step to your slightly-bent hand, so about 3.5-4 feet at the most.
Add a dashing handle at one end, and this could easily be used as a cane on level ground, or perhaps some manner of shillelagh.
Real shillelaghs for sale
At the Walking Cane Depot. Also known as cudgels. [shapu, Apr 07 2005]
John Holmes's shillelagh
He was so popular, they set up tents to watch him fling it about. [shapu, Apr 07 2005]
The letter Pi.
[shapu, Apr 07 2005]
||// For the klutz, the oaf, or the spaz //
||No, I just found a great online thesaurus.
||Apparently, the Russians love their birch more than any other tree in the world.
||This set up wouldn't resist sideways pull which is quite common when using a handrail for support.
||Jane should see a doctor.
||[oneoffdave] Consider it removed. I'd never heard that before.
||Not a bad idea, but maybe it should just
be a zimmer frame with adjustable legs
... that would do the same job, but it
couldn't fall over sideways.