Badass Playgrounds

This entry at made me start thinking about the playgrounds of my past.

Don't get me wrong I love the s
pace age ground padding and super safe equipment we have today. But there was a sense of the wild about our old playground. This could have something to do with the fact that mom would send us out at daybreak and call us in at sundown. The playground became the place where big kids were made and sissies were broken. But more likely it was the crazyass vertigo we got riding the hot metal merry-go-round that made us feel giddy with freedom. The older kids would make it go so fast you could barely hang on to the handles with your little sweaty hands.

Many a kid (raising hand) had some serious injuries from those bolts that stuck out of the equipment. I know I sliced my cookie sliding down a swing set pole. My Our Bodies Ourselves parents reassured me by showing me the bloody cut with a mirror. Assuming that once I could see it was just a slight gash and not a gaping wound I would be reassured. Think again. Think. Again.

My biggest envy of our playground was this large rounded metal clown. I'm not sure what purpose the park designers thought the clown fort would serve but in my neck of the woods it became a giant piss echo chamber. All the boys would line up facing the rounded walls of the clown and urinate at the same time. Producing a magical resonate sound that filled all the girls with envy. Some of us attempted to replicate this. And some of us had our mother's called for running around the park without any underpants on. Which was fine with some of us since it made going down the slide hurt like something else.

What was your killer playground favorite? Check out Retrocrush's San Francisco park for some inspiration. I'm green with envy over the Thunderdome Swing!

All pictures are courtesy of Retrocrush.
Check out some more vintage park horror here!


Mommy off the Record said...

I guess they just don't make playgrounds like they used to, eh? Uh, OK, my killer playground favorite was that freaky ass clown swing on the Retrocrush site. WTF? I'm totally going to have nightmares tonight.

BTW, thanks for visiting my blog earlier. You got some nice digs here!

Lotta said...

I like how nothing has traction. You just hang on for your dear life!

Thanks about the digs - right back at ya. I would like to redecorate if I ever figure out how to edit my template.


Jenny said...

I've been searching for a park with a merry-go-round for years. It's like they were all ripped out of the ground and sent to third world countries. Sigh...

My favorite wasn't actually a true "Playground" thing but it was awesome. It was a telephone pole with a pivoting bar on the top and two metal chains hanging down from each end of the bar with 2 little wooden seats to straddle at the bottom. You'd hold on to the seat and run as fast as you could to get the bar (which was on ball-bearings and swung around like mad with the tiniest push) and then tried to jump on to the seat. Then you hung on for dear life and occasionally fell off an broke an arm. It was totally worth it.

PS. I had a "cookie slice" myself on the teeter-totter bar when I was in 4th grade and was convinced that I'd started my period.

how embarassing.

Lotta said...

I'm afraid my kids just won't have any good stories. They are too supervised to play a nice collar-bone breaking game of crack the whip or monkey pile.

Though I promise if my daughter cuts her cookie I won't make her look in the mirror!

I also promise not to ask her if she had a "BM" every day but that's another entry.

Jenny said...

You know what you also never see nowadays? Kids playing in rain-filled ditches. That was like the best thing ever.

It's almost like there's no point in getting kids a tetanus shot nowadays.

Lotta said...

The closest kids get to danger is a "chicken pox party". Screw dat. I'm buying the hazmat sunwear collection for my kids to wear if chicken pox comes around. husband knows that if they get lice everyone will be shaved and he should call me in Mexico every other day to let me know how the kids are doing. I'll come home after the outbreak has past.