Pitting the candyasses and suitmongers who are destroying traditional playgrounds

Oh, yeh!

Good times, good times.

Telling kids not to run? That’s just so wrong. However will they get in shape for their properly supervised soccer games?

We had this name, too. Where did you live? I was in central Jersey. Despite the ban on running, they played this at our Catholic school (until the nuns came out, saw it, and broke it up.)

We called it simply “Rumble.” One girl did break her arm playing Rumble at my school (mid-70s - no lawsuit was ever filed), and the teachers were told to not let us play it any more, but it didn’t matter. They wanted their time to smoke and chat, we wanted to play Rumble. The teachers just pretended not to see us.

As my dad always told my mother, when I was doing something stupid or dangerous, “She’ll only do it once.” :wink:

What about the joys of hanging on to the merry go round and trying to knock kids over that were standing too close?

And the burning sensation of sliding down a scalding hot metal slide in your skirt or shorts.

Good times.

Jeez…I remember when the jungle gym was steel posts set on concrete. The likelihood of falling down on a concrete slab was an excellent incentive to not fall. And if you did fall, you tried to land on your feet. Maybe the next bright idea would be to put mats down below anything higher than three feet. All jungle gyms must have air conditioning. Slides must be kept in the shade so as not to burn anyone’s bottom.

Sigh…what’s the point of going outside if you can’t run around like monkeys?

Was this post really necessary? Buttmunch.

The irony of this is so thick you could choke on it.

“Childhood obesity rates rising! Get off the couch, kids, and get some excercise!..but don’t run on the playground, you could get hurt.”

I’m waiting for about 15 years from now when they discover that some previously unknown toxin in all the uber-safe plastic equipment gave cancer to every kid who touched it.

It was when I went to RAAF School Penang, Malaysia in 1978 - 1979.

“Smear the Queer” is what we called it too. We always thought “queer” just meant somebody strange. We had no idea how un-PC we were.

It was great fun. For some strange reason, even though you knew you were going to get clobbered, you wanted that ball. I was pretty big and strong for my age (a good four inches taller and 40 pounds heavier than most of my classmates), so I could sometimes be seen carrying the ball and three or four of my classmates draped all over me back and forth across the field during our school lunch breaks. :stuck_out_tongue:

My wife and I, both born in the 70s and schooled in the 80s and 90s, refer to those under 20 or so as “The Plastic Slide Generation” who we imagine are soft and feeble due to never having their thighs scorched on a long steel slide that had been baking in the Texas sun all day.

When I was growing up, we had a tire playground at the local school. Now that thing was unsafe. Dirty tires filled with toxic standing water. Yum.

Ahh, Smear the Queer!
It’s what seperated the boys from the men at St.Mary’s Catholic School back in 4th grade.
Basically a solo keep-away game. If you had the ball you kept it away from everyone as long as you could. Eveyone else had to tackle you and strip the ball from you so they could have it. Kind of like a non-stop fumble recovery that ran for a 40 minute duration at recess.
Injured? Sit out for a couple minutes. But don’t sit out for too long or it’s “Wuss! Be a man! Get back out there!”

We never played this because at my parochial school, we didn’t start going outside for recess until fifth grade. Even then, there wasn’t any playground equipment, and the 7th and 8th grade boys always hogged the basketball court. Oh, and if you were caught roughhousing, you’d get detention. :rolleyes:

Still, I played on some of those old-fashioned playgrounds out at North Park here with my cousins. The old metal slides, the huge swings, the big see-saws. Damn, that was fun. The only sucky thing was that the slides got too hot, or when they weren’t “slippy” enough, and you kind of didn’t slide so much as jerk down. Not much fun.

Oh well, one thing to keep in mind-these are kids. They’ll FIND a way to do things that are rowdy and outrageous and possibly dangerous even on the so-called “safety” playgrounds. That gives me hope.

In the future all kids will be put into a hamster ball type thing that not only will keep them safe from falls and germs but special sensors will change anything negative being said to them into positive re-enforcement. Did I say enforcement? I meant re-encouragement.

We used to call it “Kill the Carrier”. You basically held the ball as long as you could while everyone else tried to take it away at any cost.

I also liked Dodgeball. I don’t see what all the fuss was. It didn’t hurt that much to get hit and you got to give back.

Of course, the best thing we had was this Thunderdome-style geodesic dome jungle gym in elementary school. It seemed about 10’-12’ tall from the perspective of a 5’10" adults memory but 8’ is probably more accurate. Status was achieved in the dome and alowed you to hang out at a much higher level.

: Tosses Clothahump a ball. :


This is kinda blowing my mind. I recently watched my five year-old nephew - he ran around the yard trying to find something to play with, then he stood in place for a bit and pretty much just vibrated. Kids don’t want to run and play - they need to.

You know, I think a lot of plastic stuff does out-gas toxic fumes. Seriously.

I know four young boys and two young girls, and three of these kids have already broken a bone. It was not a huge deal, they healed in no time flat, and everyone moved on. There were no lawsuits or recriminations. I remember back to my childhood; there were any number of broken arms or legs at school occasionally. Again, no big deal. Our games and playgrounds were fairly rough-and-tumble, and you monitored yourself accordingly.

Like others have said, you make playgrounds too safe, and kids have to go out of their way to find ways to hurt themselves - now they have to ride their bikes across the safe plastic stuff, instead of just swinging too high and jumping off.

Ain’t THAT the truth? We always found ways of turning innocuous playground equipment into tests of strength and sturdiness, if not outright violence. sniffAw, those where the days.

We played “smear the queer” in our neighborhood and never gave the name a second thought. We also decided who was going to be “it” for other games by counting out “not last night, but the night before, 24 niggers came knockin’ at my door”. We didn’t think much about it because we were kids and these words didn’t carry any weight to us, they were just how we played the game.

Back to the OP, Bill Cosby did a great routine called The Playground on his 1966 album “Wonderfulness”. He talks about how the kids used to play in an abandoned lot with broken glass and no one ever really got hurt… but once the parents, who were out to kill the kids, installed the monkey bars, they lost 102 kids that day.

Actually, hamster balls sound like fun. Can we say “bumper balls?”