"To say `no running' on the playground seems crazy," said Bartleman, who agreed to be interviewed on a recent outing at Everglades. "But your feelings change when you're in a closed-door meeting with lawyers."Die, don't run. Right. It would no longer seem crazy, it would just seem heartless and evil and a sure sign of the immediate death of society. It would seem much more sensible instead to kill the lawyers first, then if a parent sues over their child, say, breaking an arm from tripping while running, break the parent's arm, too.
My childhood bridged the era of metal "monkey bars" over concrete to the nasty beginnings of crippling our children through kindness - if they don't learn by skinning a knee, they'll learn by getting hit by a train because the signal was broken and they didn't think to look anyway. In our playground, that meant no using the swings, because someone might fall onto a bed of dangerous mulch, and no using the other equipment because it was near the kindergarten and might "distract" a bunch of 5 year olds (how would you be able to tell - seriously?). After school, we could break our necks and no one would care, but during recess (when we actually got it), that left 4-square, dominated by a small, co-ed tribe of total assholes and flaming prigs.
I decided one day that it would be fun instead to catch the leaves falling from a tree. My friend started doing it, and pretty soon it was a big rowdy fun game. The neighborhood toughs would try to push people out of the way just before catching it, but eventually they tried to catch the leaves, too and while we didn't dare push them, we weren't above snatching the leaf just over their outstretched hands. Kids were actually having fun, even kids who didn't usually play together. Of course this was banned. That's right there was a new rule announced: No Catching Leaves. I'm not kidding.
So to all my elementary school teachers, I say: fuck you, you shrill fascists. To all the school district lawyers, I say: an excess of caution can do more harm than good, and you're wasting time on playgrounds while you've got more important things to worry about: schools built on landfills, teachers fucking students, students throwing bricks at people, bullies, bomb scares, teachers' contracts, etc. And to the parents who sue over every playground injury, no matter how accidental or unforseeable, I say: fuck off and die a painful, slow death; you are destroying civilization with your selfish, childish, parasitical behavior.
Every behavior does not need to be controlled, not every accident requires a counter-measure, and not every injury implies a wrong. Grow up, you soulless idiots.