In a society where XBOX trumps sandbox (which were actually cat litter boxes but we survived) the fallout from kids not playing outside anymore makes waves across lamestream media headlines. There is much to be said about the rising obesity problem in the US population, rising cases of Type II diabetes (especially in childhood- nearly unheard of twenty years ago), a generation of lazy, useless workers who quit their jobs by lunchtime because they can’t use their smartphones and do manufacturing work at the same time, and a failing merry-go-round industry. Merry-go-rounds were once a playground mainstay, designed to foster cooperation among children in recreating circus carousel-like experiences, which actually became a child’s first physics experiment combining conservation of momentum with centrifugal force in order see what child flew the farthest when spun too fast to hold on. While this led to the invention of motion sickness medication, crash helmets, playground supervisors, and playground coverings other than bare concrete or asphalt, the boom couldn’t last and children quickly flocked to less painful- and less active- “activities.”
While, in many cases, simple molly-coddling and lawsuits lowered the demand for outdoor playthings (like a 20 foot pole to slide down) children are more being raised for their minds than their ability to bust through a red rover line like a TNRNB reporter stampeding for cake. Learning devices like iPads and GeoGenius have replaced the teeter-totter, slide, swings, and the all-time best toy- ankle breaking hole in the ground. There is still hope that eating bugs and grass will be able to hold out since teachers still throw their pupils outside so they can pitch their own fits in relative privacy. However, if we do not act as a society then pictures like the one below will become far more common and playgrounds across the country will look a little more like Detroit every day. Only if we act as parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, and anyone else who would want a kid to actually get picked for a team once in their life instead of defaulting, can we stop this destructive path we are on.
And now, a heart rending picture of a lonely child with no one to spin her until she pukes on the merry go round and ends up flying into that chain link fence or through the plate glass windows in the background (original image can be found here.):
But what in the world of creepy Disney images is going on here:
Clearly, Jimney Cricket is ready to “nose in” on Tigger’s display. It is no wonder children avoid this, most can pick up on the subtle context of such a wicked scene. Even without the elongated nose chasing Tigger in a perpetual attempt to “get his attention” does anyone really want to create an image of flying uncontrollably at Tigger’s ass? Nobody wants that. (Editor’s note: the above-pictured “Tigger in Heat” limited edition merry-go-round is worth a fortune should you come across one.)
Further review has shown that Obamacare has done a number on playground equipment as well. While being touted as the answer to all those poor people without insurance, it actually drove up the cost of liability insurance to the point that schools replaced all merry-go-rounds with ultra-safe and insurance cost reducing bean bag chairs. Now children can smother each other to death without the added cost of insurance premiums, yet another job well done. Obviously, these chairs were bought by skinny people because fat people can’t get out of them and would never do that to kids let alone embrace technology that will just make more fat kids (unless fast food counts as technology right?).
Once word got around that your fearless reporter was outing video game console makers as the root of killing this old American industry, they reacted quickly with Nintendo introducing the activity dependent Wii and XBOX releasing the Kinect (ok, I’ve been researching this one for a while, things came up) while Sony released a statement: “here have some cake.” In unrelated news, Sony has just been exposed as a silent partner in a pharmaceuticals lab that makes frosting flavored insulin for children. This is undoubtedly a coincidence. (And yes I know that’s not how it works). Rumor has it that Apple is making an app for playground playtime entitled “I swing like that.” Parents are slow to embrace it, from what I hear. Amazon was unavailable for comment on their development of Kindle products due to a world wide website outage that had every eBook author on the planet wetting their pants just like they did on merry-go-rounds and tire swings when they were children.
Well that’s all the time we have for now fearless readers, one thousand word limits come up fast when we are having so much fun. An important thing to remember is that children are like slugs, they need to be outside but don’t leave then in sun too long or they’ll dry out and die. Safety should always come first, if your outside area is concrete, put down some wood chips, which don’t soften anything but add slivers to the bruises when the kids fall down and attract small bugs, which attract spiders, which attract snakes, which pretty much ensures that no one will ever use the outdoor playground equipment that cost you thousands of dollars and took five years to put together, followed by a decade of marriage counseling. And finally, it seems to be against the law to use shock collars on children to make them play nicely together, check your state’s laws before using a “hands off approach” just beat them until you know for sure.
Next investigative expose: how Twitter’s 140 character rule makes it impossible to stay on topic for a single thousand word (ish) post. Be strong fearless reader(s) The Not Really News Blog is always looking out for you.