Monday, 26 October 2009

Industrial Slip ‘n’ Slide

It’s amazing how you forget things completely until something triggers it. I recently became friends with an old neighbor on Crackbook.

While most of my teenage years were spent on planing how I was going to skip the country, I spared the odd afternoon or 2 for the neighboring hood-rats. Between tearing around the streets on our bikes, tormenting each other with water booms and leaving a trail of destruction through the homes of the folk who were stupid enough to let us in, we also found time to peg a huge blue tarp to my front lawn and create an industrial sized Slip ‘n’ Slide. See the example below for actual size.

The Slip ‘n’ Slide kept us amused for most of the summer holidays one year. It started off tame. It was nothing but 3 kids taking it in turn to go down the tarp with the hose flowing behind us. Needless to say that got boring after the first hour. Phase two involved the resident four year olds, one of which was my brother. After we had convinced Kelton and little Chloe that it was completely safe and we would catch them at the bottom, they too started going down the tarp with smiles on their faces and the wind in their hair. We could convince these two to go down any which way we liked. They loved being included in our game for once so getting them to go down backwards on a body board without holding on was a piece of cake and didn't faze them in the slightest!

Now while this was fun, again it grew boring, so we entered phase 3. Soap yourself up with shampoo first for maximum speed. We three elder children tried it first and for quite some time this was the only entertainment we needed. Even our parents would come out and watch the spectacle of three kids, 2 of which were teenagers, throwing themselves down a hill at full speed covered head to toe in shampoo. Yes, it truly was as ridiculous as it sounds but boy was it fun! If you took a run up you would slide the whole the tarp, hit the grass and keep going. If you hit that tarp too fast, the only thing stopping you at the end of the grass was the gutter and then tarred road.

One afternoon we inevitably started to get tired of covering ourselves in shampoo. We needed a new game. I believe it was Harry who called, “Let’s race Kelton and Chloe!” Placing out bets on which small child would hit the now muddied grass first; we soaped them up and screamed “GO!” No words can describe what happened next. One minute there were smiles and laughter, the next the clouds came over. I don’t remember who won, all I remember is two screaming four year olds and three set of parents giving us the telling off of a life time.

Needless to say the tarp was banished to the garage and that was the end of that game. Bike ride anyone?

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