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Playground Failure

July 27, 2010

In my 25 years of life, I can certainly say I’ve seen some odd things. Actually most of them have been in the past 11 months, since I moved to Toronto. Who knew there were so many different types of crazy people?? But I digress… In all my years I have never seen anything quite so odd and confusing as a Czechoslovakian playground. Now I know what you are thinking. What could be that odd and confusing about a playground? Let me tell you…lots. Take a look:

Exhibits A, B, and C

*may induce vomiting

EXHIBIT A: My social constructs of what a slide should be tell me that this part of the playground semi-fits in to that schema. I say semi-fits in because it lacks some minor (but in my opinion, important) slide characteristics. Specifically, this “slide” lacks any sort of siding or safety rails. Not only does this seem odd, but also extremely dangerous. Aren’t slides for children?? What kind of parent would willingly put their child on one of these? Not only does it seem to be missing sides, it also veers alarmingly quickly from side to side. This effectively reduces any chances of staying on the slide to zero. This slide/death trap seems to be carefully designed to introduce kids of all ages to failure. Good job slide designers, good job.

Dear user, you will fail. Sincerely, The Slide.

EXHIBIT B: These random slanted triangle platforms were intriguing. I figured out fairly quickly that there must be specific required footwear other than flip flops. Unless you happen to have cramp-ons in your kid’s diaper bag, I wouldn’t reccomend maneuvering on these things. Maybe this playground wasn’t even designed for humans. Maybe it’s for mastodons, or military trained mutant armadillos. I’m not sure. I did look around for some sort of playground monitor that might be able to explain to me the intended function of these platforms, but the only people around were the regular locals who come to marvel at the stupid tourists.

EXHIBIT C: This part of the playground was perhaps the most recognizable as normal playground equipment. I feel like it was thrown in there to say “hey you. I know you’re scared, but I really am part of a playground. Come climb on me and we’ll dance and play and think about rainbows and puppies together.” And then it quietly whispers “and you will never live to tell the tale…” Its recognizable ladder-like structure beckons new comers to the playground only to trap them at the top by twisting sideways and causing the climber to enter into a un-winnable battle with gravity.

EXHIBIT D: While the tiny triangle foot platform and zig-zaggy pole structure are pleasing to the post-modernist eye, they are not in the least bit functional. This particular piece of playground equipment is clearly meant to be some sort of twirling spinny ride. Unfortunately it averages a speed of about zero kilometers an hour unless you happen to have a burly man-servant to push you around. And even if you do, the chances of your own arm strength being powerful enough to keep your grip steady are pretty slim.

Dear user: No, you will not have fun. Sincerely, The Twirly Spinner Thinger

After spending a significant amount of time trying to figure the playground out, I came up with a couple different theories.

1) This playground was designed for elite Czech mensa-babies. Perhaps it is a training facility to develop their physical and mental capabilities. Oh my god. What if they are trying to turn Spy Kids into a reality!??

2) The Czech’s have a sense of humour and have hidden cameras arranged around the playground to capture baffled tourists attempting to figure out how to use it.

I’ll let you come to your own conclusions…

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. July 27, 2010 10:09 pm

    3) The remnants of an ancient and remarkably athletic civilization.

    4) It’s an outdoor art installation. One that calls into question the nature of childhood and the innocence of perception. It begs the viewer to ask, “what is play?” and “what is ground?” An ambitious piece and highlights the futility of human achievement.

    5) Aliens.

    PS: I love how this post is tagged “Mastodons.”

    • July 28, 2010 4:06 pm

      Of course it is tagged as “Mastodons”. That was an obvious tag choice.

      I concur with your proposed theories. Each one is indeed possible. But number 5 scares me, so I am going to pretend it isn’t.

    • July 29, 2010 9:54 am

      Definitely number 4.

  2. Greg permalink
    July 28, 2010 12:22 pm

    Definitely remnants of some long-gone civilization. Czechoslovakia hasn’t existed in almost 20 years.

    • July 28, 2010 4:04 pm

      I knew someone was going to bust me for that! But Czechoslovakia sounds so much more interesting and foreign than Czech Republic …

  3. July 29, 2010 9:58 am

    How does one climb a slide without sides to grip onto? Clearly, any attempt to do so would result in immediate failure (and quite possibly a lot of tears).

  4. Jenna Wakely permalink
    July 30, 2010 8:07 am

    Is Czechoslovakia where our crazy, only-kinda-english-speaking Geography professor was from?? Or was it somewhere else that also doesn’t exist anymore.

  5. Jaimie permalink
    November 21, 2010 1:41 am

    I’m kinda late on this one… but exhibit D is one of my favorite things at new playgrounds! You actually can spin around without having anyone push you, you just have to look of the physics of it. Unless an external force is applied, one’s center of mass must remain constant, therefore, if you move your body is a certain way the apparatus will spin in order to try and maintain you center of mass! Yay for physics!

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