Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Contemporary playground equipment

Once playground equipment was fun.

And by "fun", we mean dangerous.

Swings swung high enough that the fall would break legs. Slippery dips were of towering heights and could rocket you into the ground after the sun baked metal had seared your flesh. And nothing could sever fingers like merry-go-rounds.

An unlikely alliance of sense and litigation put paid to this era. Equipment became safe plastic, but blunt and stunted. But it was colourful, and children could use their unthreatened fingers to give each other shocks. It was boring, but a taste of risk remained.

Today we are in a new era. Equipment looks like this.

I don't understand it.

It doesn't look fun at all.

In the same fashion I do not find trees erotic.

Certain playground equipment looks unfun. Certain people are unattractive or repulsive.

But this is in a different world entirely.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A train ghost

Today I was on the train travelling into the city.

A deshevelled man walked up the carriage holding a crumpled envelope. He went to each passenger in turn, and poked it under their noses.

None looked up. They stayed immersed in their books, in the views out the window, or the gum under the seats in front.

None wished to make contact with the crazy man.

He came to me. I intended to do as everyone else did. Nonetheless, I briefly looked at the envelope.

It was dirty and worn, with several sentences of text. I read only the first line;

"(I am dead)"

He swiftly moved on to others, and then the next carriage, apparently unpeturbed.

A man. A ghost. Wandering and trying to reach the living.


But enduring.