Is He Dead?
I took my daughter to the playground the other day. She ran behind some little kid and fell. She got back up and continued playing.
That’s the whole story. Thanks for reading. Oh wait, let me mention my sponsors…
This story was brought to you by competently designed playground equipment. She hit the ground and I noticed she bounced a little. That’s because the playground she has today is covered in some rubbery material. Don’t get me wrong, I used to bounce when I’d fall back in the day, but mine had something to do with physics. “For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction.” You hit solid concrete (not rubbery) as hard as I did and the force of your bones breaking is matched by an equal and opposite bounce.
It’s not completely the playground’s fault. I was stupid. There was the time I thought I could do what I saw the trapeze artists do at the circus. I swung back and forth on the monkey bars and then tried to go from one bar to the other without actually extending my arms for the next one. I thought that momentum would carry me forward to the next bar.
It kinda did.
I went forward, my finger tips touched the bars as momentum carried me forward at a downward slant. My head went back towards the ground, my fingers briefly grazed the bars and then I regained consciousness about fifteen seconds later with a playground full of kids staring at me.
Why is the first question always “Is he dead?”
Then there was the time I thought I had a Guinness Book-worthy talent. I could jump outta the swings like nobody’s business. I was Spiderman of the playground. I’d swing real high and time it perfectly so that I could leap forward and land about 15-20 feet away near the slide. All the smaller kids would stand in awe of me. I’d sign autographs.
Then one day it was breezy and something flew in my eye just as I was taking flight. I landed, but lost my footing and tripped as I touched down. My body continued forward, although I was now in the flying Superman position. I “flew” a few feet. Then I stopped. Then I was in the “just slammed head first into the metal side of a slide” position. That’s the one where everyone crowds around and asks
“Is he dead?”
But winners never quit (neither do losers) and I got back on the horse the next day. I was back to my old self. A few days after that it was chilly, so I wore a jacket…a jacket with pockets on the side…a jacket with pockets that were in exactly the right position so that when you get really high on your swing… and motion to jump out…they catch the little hook that connects the swing to the chain…then you feel a tug…not a big tug…just enough of a tug to pull you back towards the swing… which is no longer beneath your bottom and is now behind you…meaning you get yanked backwards and down so that you are now falling to the nice un-rubbery concrete below. It is there that your head hits the ground slightly before your neck and spine. You’re slightly unconscious when your legs make contact with the ground. You’re also unconscious when they ask
“Is he dead?”
But you wake up when some adult stands over you saying. “No, he isn’t dead, but I bet he won’t do that dumb shit again.”