Friday, August 13, 2004

Playground peril

I used to hate recess when I was a kid. Just hated it with a passion. I was bad at playground games, both the athletic kind and the social kind. All I wanted to do was sit off to the side somewhere, out of everyone's way, and read a book. Sometimes I could get away with it, and sometimes teachers would insist that I go out, run around and be healthy. Back then, I couldn't do much but stumble around and feel doltish. It makes me wish that reports like this one had been around when I was a kid -- proclaiming that, while running around and being healthy is still a good idea for kids, playgrounds themselves are a regular menace, full of undependable hardware and accidents just waiting to happen. That's sure the way I felt as a schoolkid, and if there was documentation around I could have, I don't know, filed a formal protest or sued or something. Of course, all these playgrounds that are falling apart now are probably doing so because they were new when I was a schoolkid. But they were hazardous then, too, I'm telling you. We jungle-gym wimps just didn't have the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons around to stick up for us.

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