Friday, June 23, 2006

Cannonball Season...Officially Closed

So too, the season for the Can Opener (cannonball with one leg extended), the JackKnife (touch your toes in midair, straighten to a dive before you hit the water), the Ballbreaker (cross-legged, seated posture in the air), and the "double-dare ya" Flying Squirrel (head first, arms behind your back, holding onto your ankles). Don't even think of a handstand off the low dive, nor a graceful swan dive with properly pointed toes. No more half-gainers, either.

Plain and simple...this sucks:

"The three-meter board had been a fixture of our pool at Chesterbrook Swim Club in Fairfax County, Va., for as long as anyone can remember. But the county has declared that it can no longer afford to pay the liability insurance for it -- and so we've been grounded.

So why can't we just have a sign that reads: "Jump off this board at your own risk"? Some of our club members, many of whom are lawyers, say the elimination of the high board is for the safety of "the children.

And not just the children in Fairfax County, mind you. Diving boards are disappearing across America. The insurance industry says that most pool-construction companies won't even install the boards anymore out of fear of lawsuits. "

How is a boy suppose to flirt with the opposite sex if he can't splash her with his cannonball or make her laugh out loud with his bellyflop? How is a girl suppose to dazzle her friends if she can't show off her back flip?

How is a kid suppose to test her mettle if she doesn't have the opportunity to climb the 8 or 10 steps of the high-dive ladder, walk with trepidation to the end of the board, peer down at the deep water 12' below and,-- with her knees trembling and heart pounding--take the then biggest leap of her life?

But the diving-board dilemma is not just a legal matter; it's a cultural one. We Americans have become so risk averse when it comes to our children that we now see unacceptable dangers from even the most routine activities. We have created peanut-butter-free school zones, "soft" baseballs, army figures without guns, parks without see-saws and full body armor for bike riding.

Some days, I am very glad that I was a kid when it was fun to be a kid.

(Posted by Portia)


spd rdr said...

What? No high dive? NO FREAKING HIGH DIVE?????!!!!!!! Do you know how long it took me to gather my manly courgage and for the first time throw myself from the the plank of high dive at the GC Pool? Approximately nine seconds, and seven of that was spent just climbing...but no matter. What the flippen hey, hey? We are turning ourselves into nation of total pussies.

spd rdr said...

And by the way, you forgot two of my favorites: the Yogi and the Suicide Mellon.

Portia said...

Suicide Melon? I don't remeber that one. Is the yogi the same as the ball breaker?

How old were you when you first jumped off the high-dive? I was all of 6 or 7 yrs. old, goaded into it by my two oh so responsible older sisters. It was a long walk up that ladder, and an even longer one across that narrow plank. I should have just taken a running jump but instead I lingered at the edge, knowing I couldn't go back, looking for my courage, and holding on to the end of the board for dear life with my tiny curled toes until I knew it was time (I think the crowds on line complaining helped me figure that out:). With that I closed my eyes, held my nose and stepped off, feet first.

I'm here to tell you I didn't drown. Instead, I popped up like a cork, jumped out of the water, stuck out my tongue at my two giggling sisters, and stood in line to do it again, and again.

BTW, my sisters lost their pool priveleges for a couple of days for taking such good care of their baby sister!

Special day all around:)

portia said...

Do you know how long it took me to gather my manly courgage and for the first time throw myself from the the plank of high dive at the GC Pool?

I'm still waiting to hear you tell us how young you were when you gathered your manly courage to jump off the high board.

If it was north of seven years old and south of the youngest rdr's age, let me just say right now-- and for the whole world to hear--I apologize for all those times I cut in line:)

camojack said...

Blame the lawyers for all the liability suits.

Tort reform now!!!