Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yellow Plastic Of Pain

When I was about 4 or 5 years old, all my brother and I wanted was a Slip N' Slide. If you are too young to remember the glory of the Slip N'Slide, well you are very fortunate.

The Slip N' Slide was a long piece of yellow plastic. Almost like a big yellow garbage bag. This was all it was. (Wow. I just remembered that was all it was.) You then set your sprinkler(s) so that the water would land on the slide. From a certain amount of feet back, you would run and then swan dive (or nosedive - as was my brother's case) on the slide and glide on down.

These were the games we had in the early 80s.


After much much begging my mom gave in and let us get a Slip N' Slide. She was very anti-Slip N' Slide, and for good reason. I don't know if having a kid throw themselves on the hard ground head first is a good idea. And, like most things my mom bought, I'm sure it wasn't an actual Slip N' Slide. I'm sure it was some alternative generic brand. For example, when Cabbage Patch Kids first came around, I wanted one. So for Christmas, I got one. But it wasn't a real Cabbage Patch Kid. I was so stubborn and would yell at anyone who told me otherwise. Until one of my relatives showed me how her real one had "Xavier Roberts" sewn on the bottom. Mine did not and I no longer loved it.

But really, the Slip N' Slide was a sheet of plastic, so what did it matter?

We set it up in the backyard that day. It was me, my brother Scotty - who was probably around 11 years old, and my niece Kimi - who is about a year and a half older than me. We were told to wait until the sprinkler had really saturated the slide.

Once faced with this new "game", I was actually sort of scared. Running full speed and diving into/onto the ground suddenly didn't sound very much fun anymore. But I had to give it a go. And since I was spoiled and a brat, I got to go first.

I ran fast and down I went. And it was glorious. It was everything I had hoped that sheet of plastic would be.

Next up was Kimi. She went running along the grass and down onto the slide and knocked the wind right out of herself. She repeated this every single time. She would get down on the slide and not be able to breathe. This was my mother's big fear. But Kimi kept trying. My mom eventually told Kimi that maybe Slip N' Slide wasn't her thing.

So Scotty and I continued to enjoy ourselves...for a while...until...

Scotty took a running leap onto the slide - nose first - and came up looking like a horror movie. He had broken his nose. Blood was gushing everywhere. My mom ran and got a towel...a white one. It was soaked red immediately. I was terrified. I thought he was dead. He kept trying to get me to come near him, but I kept screaming "you're dead!" Obviously, no one had explained death to me at this point.

Scotty found this hysterical and even through all his pain, he took pleasure in torturing me. He followed me around the yard and the house with his nose dripping blood. I screamed.

Eventually, my mom called him off and told us all Slip N' Slide would be no more. I didn't want to play on it anymore anyway. It had blood on it. After seeing Scotty, blood has terrified me. Just the slightest sight of it makes me want to pass out.

My mom packed up the slide and threw it in the trash.

I never used Slip N' Slide again.

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