Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Chapter Five: In which my daredevil nature scoffs at authority

Remember when you were a child and your parents bought you that huge trampoline that took up most of the back yard, and you and your friends would while away the dog days of summer practicing for that eventual gymnastics scholarship? Me neither. In those days, I was lucky if my parents would pony up for a set of jacks. Besides... such a frivolous waste of time would have cut into my evening job making economically priced (but high quality) sneakers alongside all of those Jamaican kids. Ahhh.... good times.

More and more these days, however, I'm noticing parents installing these death machines delightful and fun exercise apparatus in back yards across suburbia for their annoying little bastards cherished tots to play upon. Bravo! Children need more exercise and outdoor activity, not to mention any excuse to not be sitting inside glued to the computer or video game console or television - or worse, showing up at the mall, theatre, restaurant or any other place I might choose to frequent.

And if you happen to be one of these lucky hell spawn, I'm sure the last thing you want is Uncle Sam and his jackbooted Brownshirts coming in and crapping all over your good time.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) recommends that trampoline users take care to protect themselves. In 2006, more than 272,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms, doctors' offices, clinics and other medical settings for trampoline-related injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission.

What is it that these parents and government officials are so afraid of? Do they think that their darling youngsters are going to go out and do something stupid like this?

Or maybe this? Or this? Or this? Or one of the real award winners in trampoline history?

If you're a parent and this is a concern on your mind, let me assure you that you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Sure those accidents look fairly horrendous, but let's face it. Everything looks pretty horrendous on Youtube. Sure, you'll see video after video of children experiencing high velocity impacts on everything from concrete to industrial farm equipment, but that's the nature of the liberal media. What you don't see, of course, are the dozens of times that children across the country have safely and happily jumped up and down on trampolines, experiencing no life threatening injuries and barely more than a scratch, sprain or dislocated joint.

Surely you know by now that these are things that happen to other people's children. Your little Jimmy or Jane is far smarter than that and would never take such precipitous chances in an unsupervised, underequipped environment. And for the kids that do? Let's face the facts, parents... Darwin is a harsh master, but his laws do keep the proper level of chlorine in the gene pool, if you catch my meaning.

So get out there and start installing that trampoline today. Summer is waning quickly and there's not much time left. And don't let any big government, nanny state naysayers dissuade you.

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