When I was about seven we had this piece of jungle gym equipment at my elementary school that was just a metal gate. And yet it was very popular. You had to wait in line to get on this little beast. It was about waist high, anchored on one end so it could spin around kind of like a merry-go-round for one person. We would position one foot on the gate, hold on tight and then push off with the other foot to get up some serious speed and then just spin and spin and spin. I loved that dizzy feeling when you finally slowed down. And I wanted to impress my friends, as they waited in line, with how fast I could go. Problem was I would get up so much speed that invariably I would lose control, go flying off onto the concrete and scrape up my elbows. If this happened once or twice that might be normal seven year old behavior, maybe you would learn a lesson and slow down or go pretend to know how to play tetherball or four square. Not me. I flew off that stupid gate and scraped up my bony elbows 15 or 20 days in a row, ripping off barely hardened scabs every time. My teacher finally had to intervene and forbid me from climbing on that gate until my elbows healed properly.
I couldn't find a photo of the evil gate, but this reminded me of all the equipment we played on growing up in the 80's. From this talented guy's flickr stream.
I'm twelve years old and my parents take my little brother and me on a little weekend getaway to the Ozarks. One of our last family trips before my parents got divorced. Silver Dollar City, the Passion Play, several cheesy carnival rides and games, and the one I was most looking forward to, BUMPER BOATS!! Like bumper cars on water, driving my own boat, permission to violently run into other people, yes!! I enjoyed my 10 minutes of bumper boat action, tooling along in the small pond of water crowded with many other preteens trying to crash and knock each other around. My time was up, I steered my way to the side, the last kid to get out since I wanted my maximum time on the water. I pulled up to the ladder where I needed to dock the boat, reached up for the hand of the teenage attendant who was positioned to assist me as I deboarded my boat and exactly at that moment, the teenage attendant looked away, turned to talk to someone behind him, missed my reaching hand, and I plunged into the water, waist deep and soaked. So this is a bit of a problem. Not only am I wet and humiliated, standing waist deep in a pond of dyed blue theme park water, the cute boy attendant is vaguely apologetic, while laughing hysterically, but worse than that we were about two hours away from our hotel and a change of clothes. We had tickets to a show that started in about two hours. So no time to get back to the hotel, no dry clothes in sight, no chance to avoid more humiliation in my wet pleated acid washed jean shorts. What solution did my parents come up with? Let's go to the laundromat and dry your clothes. Ok, that's a reasonable solution, but I ended up sitting in the back seat of our station wagon for 45 minutes wrapped in an itchy blanket scavenged from our trunk, wearing nothing below the waist. I'm twelve years old and couldn't be more embarrassed if I were sitting completely naked in the backseat. I could have sworn that everyone walking past our car knew that I was naked below the waist, because the world revolves around every 12 year old girl.
Next up another boat accident, a couple of food dares and several other bad decisions...