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Title:What Ever Happened To [...] #1016
Date:Friday October 19th, 2012
[Default Article Image][Welcome again to Bad Joke Friday, hey? Anybody got one, besides "Lance"? Sorry to say last week's entry in this particular category had to be postponed, on account of me riding the highway then at this time; just like, uh, in those immortal words of one Jim Morrison: "Ride the highway east, baby. The east is the feast!" Or, something like that. Anyway, even though my entry for October 5th garnered lots of feedback, no one correctly caught my biggest error: that old Chicago Bears' "Punky QB" (and another Jim) McMahon's white headband had written on it "THIS SPACE FOR RENT"--not what I'd said. I was also apparently mistaken about other facts as well; namely, such headbands are still available! They're still being handed out occasionally at marathon expos, and our very own *young* Listmember Andrew Siniarski actually wears one!! So, I apologize all to heck for your factual inconvenience, and will try to do better the next time, like,
today! :-]

The Obama Administraction Presents…

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO [playgrounds] ?

No, not exactly that they've disappeared entirely or are now extinct--no, that *would* be a tragedy. I'm not actually bemoaning the scarcity of playgrounds, per se; no, I'm wondering what the heck happened TO ALL THE KIDS!!!

Really! The playgrounds I see today--like, for example, while running awhile out and back along my fave "rails to trails" bike path and passing quite a few bona fide playgrounds--well, THEY'RE ALL EMPTY!!!

What, on a Saturday morning we suddenly no longer have children? No one swinging in swings? Sliding down slides? Monkeying around on monkey bars? Hurting themselves (and others)? Teetering off (or on) teeter-totters? What about sandboxes? Sandlots? Pick-up baseball games? Football games? Tag matches? Duck-duck-goose? Bullying sessions? Gangs? Rumbles? Cowboys and Indians? Cavalry charges and/or other types of friendly neighborhood warfare???

What ever happened to the kids? I don't see any!!

Sometimes I have the urge myself to go off-path and "swing" awhile. But, of course, I can never quite find any married eleven-year-olds. [That's a joke!] But if I DID mosey into the playground and onto the swing-set, no one would see me! *I* could travel back in time and teeter off my own damn totter. *I* could monkey around the bars, and wouldn't have to show my I.D.!!

Maybe that's where all the eleven-year-olds are… in bars! Drinking! (Lemonade?)

Speaking of which, just this past summer while traipsing along that same old path, I happened upon a "scene" I have not "seen" for over 50 years: a lemonade stand. Yup! There were at least three delightful little entrepreneurs hawking their beverage of choice for, I think, a quarter a glass. (Fifty years ago it was a nickel.) They were so cute! "Hey, Mister! Cough up with the two bits, Dude, and take us off Welfare. We're part of that jobs-creating program of the new political regime."

Sadly, I never carry cash when I run. I offered them advertising space on my headband in exchange, but they weren't buying it. They must've been VERY savvy children. Very unusual. But still, they were engaging in intercounty commerce and NOT playing in playgrounds!

Whatever happened to *populated* playgrounds? The kinds with kids in 'em, fights in 'em; even joys, laughter, screaming, wailing, and the gnashing of teeth up against the monkey bars in them?

Surely all those kids can't ALL be home watching TV… can they? Playing video games and engaging in offshore gambling? Engaging in video poker with their daddy's money and, worse, NOT paying any tax to the current political regime??? (It's offshore, no? I'm wondering if "Super Mario" or "Grand Theft Auto" is offshore, too.) Did those highly ambitious, though rare, lemonade stand kids report THEIR income on their papa's 1040? Huh? So why don't the media and the IRS lay off Mitt and go after the REAL scofflaws today--those kids!!!

What EVER happened to all these wonderfully active and very playful--if combative--kids today?

I have a theory. It's all Lance Armstrong's fault. When I was a kid, all the sports stars on my Wheaties boxes were standout individuals. Bob Richards? Mickey Mantle? Ernie Banks? Bob Cousy? Hey, nobody ever brought charges against Wilt Chamberlain, did they? Heck, Wilt never cheated! Hell, he never even took Viagra. It hadn't been invented yet!!

Here's the point: when I was of playground age, I *wanted* to head outdoors and run around (the bases) just like Mickey did. I *wanted* to run like Roger Bannister or shoot hoops like Wilt. I wanted to do this because they were my heroes! Real! Unblemished! Could-do-no-wrong heroes!! They were uplifting not only as athletes but as humans, and I lifted up my eyes to them all!!

Today? Whudda ya got? Pete Rose goes to prison, NFL players beat up their wives and girlfriends, and Lance fricking Armstrong CHEATED all those years!!! So, what's a kid do today? He and his sister throw up their hands, realize the utter futility of imitating criminals, and settle down in front of their televisions to worship… cartoons instead.

( O_O )

Yours troubly,

The Troubadour
"your groovy mid-evil lute-plucking playground-loving monkey-bar-hopping 'swinger' who last watched television when it was still black-and-white radio"

Yankee Folly of the Day:
Yeah, and look at how far it's gotten him, too. Maybe we were all kidding ourselves. Sedentary *must* be the way to go, ya think?
Posted:October 22nd, 2012 3:09 pm
Last Update:October 22nd, 2012 3:11 pm
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