Monthly Archives: June, 2012

VIEW FROM A TRAMPOLINE

 

SEE, I told you I could still fit.
 `But then,’ thought Alice, `shall I NEVER get any older than I am now? That’ll be a comfort, one way–never to be an old woman- -but then–always to have lessons to learn! Oh, I shouldn’t like THAT!’
 
 
 
 
In Alice in Wonderland, Alice finds herself growing at a rapid rate.  Like any kid, she’s too big for some things, and too small for others.  Her frequent changes in size give her a new point of view on the world.  The same thing happens to all of us as we age. 
 
Everyone gets older sometime, with the possible exception of Christie Brinkley, who has probably made a pact with the devil.  But for most people, they can go along feeling all young and healthy until something happens, around about the third decade, to set them straight. 
 
When adults ride
roller coasters
The realization that age is creeping up on you can come about in several ways.  Maybe you tried to swing with your kids at the playground, only to find that they shrank the seat of the swing, and now your rear end is squeezed in a press.  Or you went to an amusement park, and discovered that there should be signs saying “You May Be Too Old For This Ride”.   I certainly figured this out and now have a list of rides you should not go on if you are over thirty (unless you are some totally in-shape mom, in which case you should go on the most dangerous rides possible.)
 
  • Rides you should avoid
    • Anything that spins.  That means rides like the “Tilt A Whirl” are out, unless you prefer to test the nickname for this ride (ie Tilt a Hurl).
    • That big pirate ship ride.  This ride is fine if you don’t mind leaving your heart up in the air while the ship careens downward with the rest of you.
    • Roller Coasters.  There is no reason why an old person should drop from a great height unless she’s escaping from terrorists on a plane.
    • Rides with names including “fear”, “doom”, or “hammer”.
 
But never fear. There are still rides the over thirty crowd can enjoy. 
 
More Your Speed
  • Rides you can go on
    • The Merry-Go-Round.  This breaks the rule of no spinning rides, because the spin is very, very slow, as in slow enough for toddlers.  But for goodness sakes, do not try to get on the horse.  Use the bench.
    • That sky-ride that takes you over the park.  It’s slow and does not involve long drops or sharp turns.  At least it shouldn’t.  Unless you somehow slide out of the seat.  I’m starting to rethink this one.
    • The choo-choo train.  This ride is slow, has few turns, no spins, no drops, and is on the ground.  Two thumbs up. 
 
So there’s your handy guide for amusement parks, but you’re probably wondering why I mentioned trampoline.  Obviously no sane person over thirty would attempt to jump on one of these things, right?  Well, I bought a trampoline for my children.  They have birthdays a week apart (another brilliant plan of mine).  Remembering the days I used to spend hopping up and down for hours on a trampoline, I thought I might try it again with my kids.  As you might predict, things went horribly wrong.
 
Artist’s rendition of me on a trampoline
No, I didn’t break my neck, but I almost wish I had. It would have put me out of my misery.  The first thing I noticed when I bounced was that my body DID NOT LIKE IT.  It let me know in various ways.  First off, my head started pounding, signalling that it did not like being throttled about on my creaky neck.  Next, not all of me jumped at the same time.  My behind and thighs stubbornly decided to revolt and remain where they were while the rest of me was airborne.  Finally, and this is advice for over-thirty women who have had babies – be sure and go potty first, or wear an adult diaper.  Trust me.
 
I thought all of that was bad enough until, after jumping on this thing several times (I blame my brain getting knocked about in my skull), I started to feel the aftereffects.  Namely, my entire body ached like I’d been on one of those medieval torture racks.
 
When did this happen?  I knew vaguely that I’d gotten older, but had so far managed not to get much more mature, so my body signaling to me this way was a bit of a surprise.  A rather painful one, and not just physically. Still, I want to be a part of my children’s fun.  So my view from a trampoline may have to change to that of observer . . . well observer being bounced up and down by an incredibly strong couple of children.
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OF CYCLOPS CUCUMBERS AND FUZZY ORANGE HATS

This show is one of the more recent offerings by Nick Jr., a spin-off of Nickelodeon, the station that brought you such intelligent offerings as Double Dare.  Which reminds me that I will have to do a special on 80s and 90s kid shows, especially those that routinely pour gelatinous goo all over children.  But first, I introduce to you  . . .
Yo Gabba Gabba
This is a show about a guy with some figurines that become giant, costumed monstrosities.  The only thing scarier than these creatures is the supposedly human man that takes care of them.  DJ Lance Rock (I wonder if he puts that on his driver’s license – Rock, DJ Lance) is tall and unnaturally skinny, with giant glasses, a furry orange hat, and an orange skin-tight jumpsuit.  Fortunately, we don’t see him as often as the others.
The Village Monsters
There are four monsters.  Foofa is a pink blob with a daisy on her head.  I don’t know what type of monster she is, but she definitely makes me wary of going out into the garden.  Brobee is a green monster with stripes, a unibrow, a freaky expression, and long, limp arms.  When he dances, he flops the things around uselessly, like partially severed limbs.  Toodee is blue and looks kind of like a cat, albeit a mutant cat.  Plex is a yellow robot with crossed eyes, which seems like a serious design flaw.  Finally, and I’ve saved him for last for a reason, is Muno. 
Hang on a second, I have to go shudder in a corner.
Okay, I’m back.  Muno is a Cyclops, but not just any Cyclops.  Muno resembles a red cucumber with some sort of horrible, festering disease.  He is the stuff of nightmares.  I want to know who thought this guy up, and what mental institution or drug rehab center he is currently stationed at.  No, I don’t want to hurt him.  I just want to ask him, “Why?”  Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy . . .
Hey Mom . . . arghhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!
Where was I?  It is easy to get lost when discussing this show.  There are so many questions.  Why is it called “Yo Gabba Gabba”?  Is this Spanish gibberish?  What does it mean?  I talk talk?  I grab grab?  I’m not sure.  I suppose the title is catchier than “OMG, The Horror, The Horror”, but it still doesn’t make sense.  Unless that’s the purpose.  Delightful nonsense is one thing; nonsense that produces creatures that used to hide under my bed at night is something else. 
Well, this is awkward.
This show features many songs that we can all learn from.  For instance, there is “Don’t Bite Your Friends.”  Oh, sure, it’s tempting, but you really don’t know where your friends have been, plus they have the power to sue you.  So don’t do it.  Yes, I know, this is supposed to be directed at children, but somehow I doubt they’re going to listen.  They have teeth and they’re going to use them.  It’s not like a toddler is going to hear this song and go “Ohhhhh.  I get it now.  I was being so unreasonable before!” 
If anything, it seems like this show encourages children to bite one another, if only to get away from the scary cucumber.  It certainly isn’t going to make them want to eat their vegetables, I can tell you that.  Yet the show gained enough popularity to produce a merchandizing storm with toys, clothes, shoes, and sheet sets.  Can you imagine the horror of waking up next to that one-eyed cucumber?  Or almost as bad, the DJ?  I don’t even want to think about it.
I am just thankful that my children have progressed past “Yo Gabba Gabba”.  Now they just watch the teeny-bopper shows on the regular Nickelodeon, a universe where every girl is a gorgeous, pimple-free teenager who just happens to also be a rock star.  Wait . . . I’m starting to miss the cucumber.
Final Analysis:
Diseased Cyclops Cucumber: Yes
Supposedly Human Host: Yes
Educational “Bite Me” Songs: Yes
Didacticism: The cucumber . . . it has one eye . . .