Lunchtime Poll

Lunchtime Poll: 12/14/11

Our beloved writer Malyshka mentioned today that Tiny is afraid of the McDonald’s Play Place because it’s a death trap.  I was reminded of the lethal play area in a local pizza place from when I was little, and now I am wondering about the places you all played that probably should have been shut down.My home town didn’t have a Chuck E Cheese (although we did have the commercials, which was torture to a six-year-old).  We did have the poor man’s Chuck E Cheese though, Papa’s Pizza.  It had a ball pit, a climbing tower a la Play Place, and enough smelly stinky odor to make you feel like you were in an NBA locker room.  But the play device that I am thinking of today was kind of like a hamster wheel for kids.  Only it was a barrel shape and likeness, open on either end, and it was stationary.  I tried to find a picture but I didn’t know how to describe it to Google.  Use your imaginations. Anyway, kids push on it and it spins and you have to run and keep pushing because otherwise you’ll get TRAMPLED TO DEATH!!!!1!  Typically only the Big Kids used it.  In my memory they were at least 17, but in reality they were probably 10-year-olds.  That shit was terrifying.  I don’t know how anyone went into the child/hamster wheel/barrel and lived to tell the tale.

I only tried it once. I went in by myself for safety. And wasn’t strong enough to make the barrel roll.  Oh well.

Anyway, what did you play in (or stay away from like a sensible person) as a child that you’re pretty sure was a Death Trap.

6 replies on “Lunchtime Poll: 12/14/11”

There was a playground at the bottom of my street growing up that was in varying stages of disrepair. We should have never been allowed near the place. There were at least two occasions that my brother got knocked off the merry-go-round and needed stitches afterwards from getting caught on bolts or screws that were sticking out.  Oh, memories!


I was a wee child of the 70’s, and I’m surprised any of us made it out alive. Metal slides, exposed bolts, swings with real chains (in the 70’s, you weren’t a real person until you got your hair caught in a swing chain) and playgrounds built right on asphalt made me the badass I am today.

I also had a fancy Big Wheel called the Spinout 360 which was a tube of plastic on three wheels with a hand brake. We’d find the steepest driveway in the neighborhood and shoot the 360 down it, after which we’d fly into the street in an uncontrolled spin. In short, awesome. If you went too fast, it would flip over. If you hit a rock or a crack in the pavement, it would flip over. God, I loved that thing. It was the Ford Pinto of kids’ toys.

From what playgrounds look like now, you’d think all those play structures from the 80’s and 90’s were death traps. We had wooden towers with slides, ropes, monkey bars and bridges set in a pit of sawdust.

Now everything is soft and plastic and barely off the ground surrounded by a foam pit of recycled whatever.

Where are the merry go rounds?! The POINT of those damn things was to spin them so hard your friends flew off! The winner held on the longest.

…How did I not die?…

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