Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Walk Down Memory Lane - To The Dangerous Playground

Ahh, playgrounds.

No; I'm not talking about those sterile plastic lysol-sprayed hunks of crap nestled in a bed of rubbery soft nerfy flooring. I'm talking about real playgrounds. The kind we grew up with, the kind that mangled us and taught us life lessons. Playgrounds deemed too dangerous for today's wussy youth, which sadly have become a thing of the past.


This is what fun looks like today?!??!? Pffft.


Today the Bitter Old Bitch gladly takes you on a stroll down memory lane, to the playground equipment you loved and miss - and probably have a few scars to show from.

First Stop: The METAL slide of doom:




That's right bitches, take a look at that. The metal slide in all its dangerous sharp glory. Just sitting there in the sun, waiting to scorch any thighs that dare touch it. Who needs rounded sides or tubes? Part of the excitement about riding the slide of doom is knowing that at any moment, your shoes may catch on the metal and you're taking a one-way-trip over the side, possibly in sand - but likely in gravel tinged with bottlecaps and cigarette butts. YESSS!

Second Stop: The Merry-Go-Round:




If you haven't gotten 10 of your friends together and spun one of these until you vomited, I pity you. I was that one kid who was one hell of a spinner, I'd stand on the side and just whip the crap out of it, giving everyone a hell of a ride. Naturally, I would then try to hop on once it hit Mach 5. Of course, I never made it, but instead hung on for dear life, dragging my brand new jeans through the dirt, allowing my legs to dangle and drag on the ground until it finally came to a halt. After putting holes in the knees of my pants and filling my shoes full of gravel, I'd head home victorious. Good times, good times...

Third Stop: Those Springy Things of Death:



"Hello, I'm the Death Duck. Wanna ride?"


Obviously meant for the little ones, these creatures were also favorites of us bigger kids. They would rock back and forth, hitting the ground until they had enough of us - either bucking us off 5 feet away or popping us in the face knocking out a tooth. Either way, we learned a valuable lesson - sometimes you really are just too big to play with that.

Fourth Stop: The Teeter-Totter a.k.a. See-Saw:




More than just a staple of the playground, the teeter-totter was also an important lesson in physics. With the right amount of force on one side, you too can achieve this (Tip: wait for the slo-mo fun!):



Fifth Stop: The Jungle Gym / Monkey Bars:




Face it, besides teaching us upper body coordination and strength; jungle gyms and monkey bars are responsible for making sure as a child we got regular tetanus boosters.


Sure...it looks like fun now, but wait till they get a taste of the rusty bolts and screws holding it together from the inside. Heh.


Sixth Stop: The Rocket:




Extremely popular in the late sixties/early seventies the playground rocket was amazing. You could climb inside for one hell of a view over the whole area, or as a remote refuge to get your drug fix in private (i.e.: snorting pixie sticks). Do note that a slide-o-doom was almost always attached to these babies.

Seventh Stop: The "Barrel Of Fun" a.k.a. the "Hamster Wheel":




Now this is one of my fondest pieces of equipment at the playground. One particular playground near the community pool had one of these and it was always packed full of kids. They were hard to get started, but with a little help the wheel inside would start spinning. Of course, sometimes the wood planks were loose and caused you to pinch your fingers, and splinters were not only accepted, but anticipated. Lesson learned: No matter what, keep going! Because if you fall down when it is at full speed nobody is going to stop, instead - they all get to laugh at you as you receive concussion after concussion from flopping around in the wheel like a lone sock in the dryer. :D


Eighth Stop: The "Swinging Gates":



Our school playground had one of these puppies, but in the "single" gate version, not the double that is shown here. Much like the Merry-Go-Round you could really get one of these puppies going if you had a little help. We used to enjoy sitting in it towards the outside with our legs and arms wrapped around the bar to get the maximum amount of centrifugal force. YAY!


Ninth Stop: The "Witch's Hat":




The idea behind these were simple - you and a friend (or multiple friends) grabbed opposite ends of the ring and ran in the same direction until you got whipped off the ground. Of course, that would be too easy; so instead you always tried to pair up people of very different sizes for each side, so it would be off balance and one side would be flown up in the air from the other people's weight. Another important lesson in physics; often followed by a lesson in first aid. ;)


Tenth Stop: Teatherball:




Yes kids, once upon a time we actually had Teather Ball stations at parks and at school. Yes, you often got the ball smacked right in your face, but you liked it, dammit. These days the closest most kids get to one of these is by downloading Napoleon Dynamite. :( The world needs more tetherball.


R.I.P Teatherball court....R.I.P.



Last Stop: "The Octopus" a.k.a "The Maypole" a.k.a "The Big Strike":






Here's one you won't see these days. Much like the Witch's Hat above, the Octopus was a simple design. Slap a huge metal pole in the ground, attach a buttload of chains, and allow the chains to swivel from the pole. Add kids, and you're done. Simply put, everyone grabbed on, you ran around as fast as you could until...LIFTOFF! Of course, half the time the sucker would throw you ten feet if you couldn't hang on, and you could be certain that sometime or another a chain next to you was going to slap you in the face, and you were possibly going to slam right into the pole itself. With excitement and danger like that - it really is little wonder why we played all day long. And considering today's lame nerfed playgrounds, can we really be shocked that today's kids don't?



Bring back the danger....bring back the fun.

....thus sayeth the Bitter Old Bitch.

26 comments:

Bad Cop Tugga Thugga said...

The Bitch is back! Finally! Missed your crotchey ass!

I noticed the lack of McDonald's themed playground equiptment. The Mayor McCheese Jail was the site of many smacked heads and minor concussions in my day.

The tire jungle gym is another favorite from back in the day. These structures were usually put together by "shop kids" as part of their end of the year project. Tire playground equiptment assembled by stoners and slackers is always a great idea! Not only is it free/cheap and "safe" it is also a free source of malaria in the summers.

nikkinikkinikki72 said...

Oh so missed you. I stumbled upon you sometime ago and then not a single word for months.
I so love your moaning and please do lots more.
I rememeber some of the playground equipment showing here, and they were much more fun than todays boring ones.
I know a girl who ripped all her leg skin off one the roundabout, with blood everywhere and kids in amazement claiming to see bone. lol.
Nikki

Penny said...

hahahahahaha It's like Christmas early! I was so excited to see you back today!
What a great post! I remember all of those playground toys. My favourite was the Merry Go Round..although my Ma told me horror stories to try to keep me from running with it to get it going and then jumping on. She said some kid from our neighborhood did this and he ended up falling down and getting sucked under the Merry Go Round and his legs were chopped off.
I was terrified after that.

Also the Teeter-Totter..hours of fun...although I look at most of that stuff and shudder with fear.
Our school used to have the balance beam as well..basically just a few beams of wood on the ground that you walked on or tried to do cart wheels off of.

I also agree with tetherball. :(
RIP.

BITTER OLD BITCH said...

@ Bad Cop - Ahh, the McDonald playland items really deserve their own article, don't they? Mayor Mc Cheese jail was also my favorite, followed closely by the Grimace cage bouncer and the springy things of death (much like the duck one in the article). My fave was the "Filet o' Fish" springer of death...it was basically a burger with a fish body. Happy memories!

@ nikki : Nice to see you! :) Hahaha, we all have some sort of story we heard where someone was maimed or murdered by playground equipment. The roundabout/merry-go-rounds were a common fixture in such tales, almost as common as that kid that everyone had heard managed to completely swing over the swing-set successfully. :P


@ Penny: Funny enough, I remember hearing a very similar story concerning the merry-go-round too! I wonder if they actually did suck kids in or if it was a common urban myth? :o

And yes, teatherball. :( Poor teatherball.

Gilsner said...

Good Lord I've missed you! This truly is the best. day. ever. So glad you're back!

John said...

why do so many of these instruments of death involve going around in circles and getting dizzy? to increase the chance of injury?

those fucking slides sucked!

Onewithwings said...

Ah, the memories. And to think, I almost missed it! Being born in 86, I was at the tail end of this, most of these things left the playground as I was growing out of that particular age group. I have vivid memories of heading down the metal slide of doom a bit too fast and damn near breaking my tailbone. Good times, good times...

Guillermina said...

Hello, I´m a journalist for Paula Magazine, in Chile, and I´d like to know where you found the image of the Ovulen-21 ad you posted a while ago. I´ve been looking for something like that to illustrate an article I´m writing about the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill. Please get in touch with me at galtomonte@paula.cl

Thanks!
Guillermina.

オテモヤン said...

オナニー
逆援助
SEX
フェラチオ
ソープ
逆援助
出張ホスト
手コキ
おっぱい
フェラチオ
中出し
セックス
デリヘル
包茎
逆援
性欲

generic propecia said...

Great site,this information really helped me , I really appreciate it.Thanks a lot for a bunch of good tips. I look forward to reading more on the topic in the future. Keep up the good work! This blog is going to be great resource. Love reading it.
nice tip

Anonymous said...

I love this blog, your writing is hilarious. This article speaks to me in particular. I'm just the right age to have enjoyed the tall, sharp, metal playgrounds
and lightning fast, sun baked slides... while withing a few years witnessing their disappearance, and subsequent replacement with lame rounded plastic lumps. :(

Where do you keep going?
Updates woman!!!

missmoxx said...

This ROCKS!

Jet said...

Oh,your blog is very nice .I really like it ^^!



..♥♥..♥♥..♥♥..♥♥..♥♥..♥♥..♥♥.
♥..♥  ╔══╦══╗╔╦══╗  ♥..♥
♥..♥  ╚═╗║╔╗║║║╔╗║  ♥..♥
♥..♥  ╔═╝║║║║║║║║║  ♥..♥
♥..♥  ║╔═╣║║║║║║║║  ♥..♥
♥..♥  ║╚═╣╚╝║║║╚╝║  ♥..♥
♥..♥  ╚══╩══╝╚╩══╝  ♥..♥
♥..♥♥..♥♥..♥♥..♥♥..♥♥..♥♥..♥


----------------------------------
Welcome to my websites : In there where have a lot of wallpapers, themes for desktop , for mobile and themes for media ^^!
http://9wallpapers.blogspot.com
http://theme4desktop.blogspot.com
http://theme4cellphone.blogspot.com
http://theme4media.blogspot.com
http://wallpaper4cellphone.blogspot.com

sobelle said...

Ah, memories.

My 1st concussion... thanks to one of those jungle gyms over concrete.

Nowadays, they would've called the paramedics as I was knocked unconscious... then; they just picked me up and carried me into the school room.

No C-collar, no worries!

Tough!! =)

Generic Viagra said...

I remember that monkey bars used to be my favorite ones when I was a child, but in my childhood they were consider to be very dangerous for children.

Herve Leger said...

Are you always vexed about wearing Herve Leger what kind of dress at a banquet?
Herve Leger bandage dress online store eliminates your worries.
Ladies who is beautiful and noble may choose Herve Leger bandage
dress.The dress highlights your perfect feminine body curve.
If you wear this dress, it will Herve Leger Blog send out your inherent glamour.
It is specially designed for you and meets your noble taste.
Wherever you go, you will be the focus. If you haven't a suitable
dress to attend a banquet and want Herve Leger Strapless to buy one now, Herve Leger bandage
dress online store is your best choice.

generic viagra 100mg said...

Its really very amazing playground.... I woould like to see more about that... please keep posting on the same topic.... I will wait for your future updates....

Regards
Alexa
kamagra oral jelly

T said...

The rocket... ahh, the stories my scars could tell of that monstrosity...

We have a local park that my kids affectionately call "The Swirly Whirly Death Wish Park" - because of its dangerous "euro style" playground...

still wussy in comparison to what we grew up with, but much cooler than recycled tire mats under a 2 MPH merry go round.

Randy Deaver said...

Dangerous playgrounds! Yeah! I suddenly miss my childhood days. I remember one time when I had an accident in the playground when I was in third grade. I had to go to the dentist. Lexington's the place where I stay now. I miss California. Haha! I do hope that I can find a Lexington dentist that can help me take care of my teeth this time. I'm sure there are a lot of great dentists here in this area.

anziulewicz said...

The Witch's Hat! The bestest, funnest, most dangerous piece of playground equipment EVER! There was one of these at a city park in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, back in the 1960s, and my cousins and I used to have a BALL on it! If you were REALLY foolhardy, you'd jump inside and try to avoid being smooshed between the swinging part and the central pole!

It's too bad cool old playground equipment like slides and swings and teeter-totters and merry-go-rounds are vanishing for fear that some kid might get a bruise or chip a tooth. Eventually playgrounds are going to be little more than big piles of pillows ... which is pretty much what the kids of the future will be like also.

purchase viagra said...

Thank You a ton for writing such a wonderful piece of information. Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well. This was actually what I was looking for, and I am glad to came here! Thanks for sharing the such information with us.

viagra overnight said...

That was an interesting piece of information on handwriting analysis. Please post more about graphology. Thank you!

Dildo's,vibrators,g-spot,lubes,rabbitvibrators said...

Hello viewers if you need any kind of
Dildos
vibrators
g-spot
lubes
rabbit vibrators
etc sex toys please visit our site : http://www.lovechristabelle.com/ . And contact us for our service .
Join our facebook page : http://www.facebook.com/pages/Love-Christabelle/290185154425873?ref=hl .
Follw us on twitter : https://twitter.com/LChristabelle
Thank you

Seth Danks said...

I am certain this article has touched all the web visitors; it’s very extremely lovely script. site furnishings

Wess said...

The park I grew up in turned the "dangerous" curly-Q slide into a monument of sorts. Sad day.

Anonymous said...

Came across your site while trying to find a picture of the Maypole, aka Octupus, Johnnie, or Big Strike. I was telling a co-worker who is several years younger than me about the Maypole and wanted to show her a picture of one. She had never heard of or seen one made of metal. The children of today don't know what they are missing by not getting to play on the playground equipment we did back in the 50s and 60s. Kay in Oklahoma City