Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Code of the Playground

There was only one thing to do. My kid had to throw something at him. He didn’t want to, and I didn’t relish the fact that it needed to be done, but the fact was, it needed to be done. We couldn’t let him disrespect the facility like that.

It may be called a “playground” but the understood purpose of the equipment is for children to exercise and to develop their motor skills. That they may derive any sort of childlike joy from running between the apparatus is merely coincidental. The purpose is not to have fun. The purpose is for the body to develop.

So when I saw that kid …. Nay… that punk continually going down the slide again and again with a smile on his face and laughter loud enough to distract the other children from their “play,” I knew someone had to take a stand. Clearly he didn’t understand the business of the playground.

He seemed oblivious to the kid crying by the swings. He didn’t care about that. All he cared about was the unrestrained jubilation he felt as the wind hit his face on the way down the slide. There’s an unwritten rule on this playground that you check on other kids who are crying. Ignore that rule and the entire social fabric of the playground could be destroyed. Soon kids would be running or sliding or jumping with total disregard for playground etiquette. If no one enforced these unwritten rules, anarchy would ensue.

So I told my son that he needed to throw a rock at this unrepentant child. He needed to learn the rules, to learn the code. A playground is nothing without a code. Sure, throwing a rock at this punk might cause injury, but the playgrounds rapscallions have always been dealt with this way. The code is the code.

In unrelated news, did you see Yasiel Puig “celebrate the front and back end of a triple,” as Yahoo’s Tim Brown put it.

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