Sling Shots And Monkey Bars

When did they start laying down a bed of wood chips on playgrounds? We played on grass and mud when I was a kid. Or gravel.

And it was good enough.

I consider this yet more proof that we - as a society - have our priorities all out of whack.

Is perfecting the playground really the best use of our combined brainpower? Not that I don't enjoy a swing set now and then... but really... come on... we pretty much figured these things out centuries ago. Let's move on to curing cancer, m'kay? Last time I checked, gas was still priced above two dollars a gallon and gas stations were stocking up on big number threes. Turkey and Pakistan both have nukes. We've far more pressing matters to concern ourselves with than flat-swings verses the squishy butt-scooper round kind.

From day one, playgrounds were intended to be kiddie death traps. That's why we built them.

Making a baby is free. Raising one is expensive. The playground is supposed to be a cheap afternoon alternative to dealing with eighteen years of childhood.

I have to listen to the product of poor parenting screaming her head off in a restaurant while the reluctant mom and dad pretend to hear nothing. That's how it is... My best hope is that maybe - just MAYBE - she'll use the swings to sling-shot herself onto a busy road the next time her parents take her to the park.

Making playgrounds safer pretty much defeats the purpose.

It is no coincidence swing sets are always pointed at the road.

The sliding board? Hello!!! That's a kiddie-griddle. These are pointed at the sun for a reason.

Remember the merry-go-round? It's a child-centrifuge. Spin it round and round 'till Johnny pukes or gets thrown off. If he's not hurt too bad, let him try getting back on to give it another go.

Tether ball: The idea is to have the kid actually knock himself out with his own ball.

Monkey bars? That one speaks for itself. "Let's have kids swing from metal pipes..."


And then, there's the see-saw. What genius chiropractor thought this one up? I salute him. All it takes is for one kid to hop off, and the other drops like a stone.


That's how it always was. That's how it was always supposed to be. But this afternoon, while taking in this gloriously gray day with a walk through Washington Park, I spotted something new.

Some knucklehead came along when we as a society weren't looking and installed a rubber safety bumper right where the bottom of the see-saw board is supposed to slap the bare ground with a spine-shifting high-speed impact.

Now there's a bounce.

It's not right.

::::: | Monday, Apr 04 2005 at 12:26 AM
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Creative Pants said:

Remember the Big Toy? The big wooden playground structure with sliding pole, slide,tire swing and other features? We had 'em when I was a kid but they've all been removed because kids were getting splinters.

You could always count on one or two playground injuries when I was a kid. Lucky bastards got casts for fellow kids to sign and scars to talk about later.

::::: | April 5, 2005 12:25 PM

Me! said:

OH OH OH! That's RIGHT! Some of those things were huuuuuuuge. I'm sure I must have taken a header off one at some point. That would explain a lot, wouldn't it?

::::: | April 5, 2005 12:42 PM

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