Saturday, January 28, 2012

Why my kid will look like a dork (aka the coolest playground ever)

So Australians are a funny bunch. Since starting his job, Rob has had to file approximately 316 pages of paperwork to be allowed work in his own laboratory (one of these forms was online and allowed him the option of selecting his title as Brigadier, which he infuriatingly would not do for me, but more on this later). Meanwhile, all across Sydney, parents willingly nudge their small children several feet meters closer to death each and every day. I am talking, of course, about the playgrounds.

Sydney is filled with parks. Pocket parks, lawny parks, treeish/brookish parks, parks with racetracks and cricket pitches (is it called a pitch?) and fountains. Parks with trees dripping with flying foxes. Some of these parks have playgrounds. And 100% of these playgrounds spell inevitable doom for anyone who dares tread their recycled tire matting. It is just a matter of time.

Take Exhibit A. Climbing pyramid. Or as I like to call it, Mount Doom. Take a moment and consider the scale here. Those kids don't stand a chance. If they don't end up strangled by the ropes, they'll certainly plunge to their death at the top of K2. Come on folks, Really?

These terrifying structures literally riddle the parks all across New South Wales. If that weren't enough, let's add Exhibit B. Un-manned Ziplines. Now when this photo was taken the victim was somewhat close to the ground so you really can't comprehend the horror here. But considering she started approximately 155 feet in the air (+/- 150 ft), I was floored. And they just let kids grab on and hope for the best, 24/7/365. The park doesn't even tie it up in the middle of the night. And we all thought China had the impending population pyramid problem. Nope. I'm here to tell ya folks: it's Sydney, Australia.

But these are kind of boring, you say. We've seen this before. Yawn.
All right, why not mix it up a little? Better yet, why not mix and match? My personal favorite, Exhibit C. Carousel of Death.
Remember those Merry-Go-Rounds that were so much fun when we were little banned across the U.S.? Well here in Sydney, they're back! With an added feature: on top of the merry-go-round, you get Mount Doom. That way, when you get going fast enough, you can fly off from approximately 20 feet in the air!!!! So. Cool.

So this is why my kid (if I were ever to have one) will look like a dork. Because he/she/it will not be let out of the house without helmet and neck-brace. Ever. Depending on destination, life-jacket and goggles will also be required. Cruel? Not compared to the near-death experiences millions of Sydneysiders subject their kids to each day. Will my kids get made fun of? Sure. But in the end, they'll thank me for it.                                         


  1. Those are the coolest playgrounds I've ever seen. Even compared to the rusty, unsafe, metal monstrosities my school had.
    If my daughter doesn't play on these things at least once in her life, I'll have failed her as a father.

  2. Wish I had cool parks like those when I was a kid. I just had swing sets.

  3. Haha...had a good laugh reading this!



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