Tuesday, January 13, 2015



Of course we should ban tobogganing. I'm all for the municipalities which do that. The politicians aren't being silly chicken-shits in the face of liability problems but protective of our young.
 Let them continue too with the plan to develop an all-purpose cotton batten armour that  must be worn by all children off their property.
Let's not stop there. I have a long list of how we must do more to save our children from scrapes and bruises as they grow up. Let's not continue the savagery that surrounded us when we were kids and vulnerable to all the menaces of life. Let's put J&J out of business because obviously it is part of the underground pushing such activity to hype the sale of Band-Aids.
At the head of my extinction list is the unforgivable slackness in how we have childproofed our playgrounds. That they even still exist is an outrage. A child could fall from a swing, one of those devilish creations of orthopaedic surgeons looking for business.
As for municipal pools, why even wading pools, hat we let kids wade in even inches of water is just asking for trouble. They could slip. The idea that we should teach everyone how to swim is silly. Canada may have more lakes and rivers than useless politicians but there's no reason why people should learn how to save themselves if they're dumb enough to actually want to go out boating. To me, that's just hunting for trouble.
It is rather obvious that the best way to save our children is just keep them inside. Let's not have recess outside because who know what hi jinks might start. Blow fresh air into the gym and let them do calisthenics after, and this is mandatory, a proper period of warming up and stretching.
Have municipal curfews at 7.30 p.m. for anyone under 16.  There are all sorts of vapours in the night air and the idea of letting kids play outside, on the street even, until the streetlights come on, is just asking for trouble.
I can testify under oath about how dangerous it was for me to grow up. In fact, I have written that I'm slightly amazed that I lived to retirement age, because just getting to become a teenager was a miracle.
Tobogganing, I admit, was a helluva lot of  fun. But it must be banned. I skinned cheeks and bruised knees and backsides about every second time I wooshed down a hill, laughing and screaming and having a great time. But the risks are too great. At least one in every 5,000 tobogganers may be hurt, so that's good reason to ruin the fun and exercise for 4,999 people.
The schoolyard for me was a dangerous pit because I was the smallest kid in class, one reason, I guess, that in Grade 2, Dick Klefford, the bully a year ahead, cut me across the face with a whip he made from a pussy willow, one reason I think that we should cut down all the pussy willows in Canada. After I had my growth spurt and became the biggest kid in the class, I knocked him out with one punch. That's the way the school yard used to function but rough justice can be unequal so it's just best that pupils should be only out there in small groups and closely supervised in case someone starts to giggle.
Unfortunately, I heard a parent the other day talk about tag being a lot of fun. It made me shiver nervously. All that running around means someone is bound to fall.
Playing tag can really be dangerous. One day my chums and I were playing tag on top of piles of drying lumber outside the Chesley sawmill.  There were gaps of a couple of metres between the piles, which were about the height of a two-storey house. It was a golden, dangerous time that we all were savouring.
 I jumped from one stack to the next without looking, only to discover that there was no "next." I remember my stunned amazement as I fell and fell and landed on a pile of rocks on the banks of the Rocky Saugeen River  which seems suitable named.
Everything went black. I came to looking up into the faces of my buddies who knew, of course, that I had killed myself. Damn it, I felt awful, my chest acted as if it had been caved in,  but I never even got a decent bruise out of it, nothing to show off in honour of my near-death experience.
So as I say, playing tag can be dangerous and should be banned, although there are probably no longer piles of lumber there because the sawmill has burned down.
What we  need is to get a little organization into the ordeal of protecting our kids. We could do what they do in cities in China and have neighbourhood committees generally headed by a couple of grandmothers who make a Marine drill sergeant look like a softy.
Each parent would take their child before the committee and have a proper program of exercise worked out for them. I know that tobogganing and anything to do with unsupervised play would not be considered and anyone actually doing that would be subject to  family court discipline.
Which is the way it should be. Growing up is just too dangerous to just happen. Look how awful we turned out to be, some of us emotionally scarred forever by following off the toboggan just before it hit a tree.. 

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