Crash Test Dummies Blog

Written by Brad Roberts

05 Aug

The bad old days

Is anyone out there old enough to remember when a slide at the park was made of shiny, sun-baked metal, and had an almost vertical descent? That was good stuff. Slides these days are made from ugly plastic, and are spiral shaped so as to make the descent more gradual, safer, and, let’s face it, much less fun.

My father used to drive me around in the basket on the front of his bicycle. We did not wear helmets; the wind blew through our hair. Today such a thing would be heretical.

Call me reckless, but I’m sad to see the bad old days come to an end. And I guess this is where i leave off, and you all crucify me! The story of my life. Happy hammering!

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11 Responses to “The bad old days”

  1. By Benedict on Aug 5, 2010 | Reply

    Speaking such true Words…! Just a few days ago there has been a letter to the editor in the local newspaper; someones grandpa complaining about having to forbid his grandchild to cool down in the little pond in the city park. Made me think about all those little things we used to do when we were youngsters – which would today mostly lead to a shake of the head of most people….so…we did’nt care ’bout that those days.
    The “Helmet-Example” just get’s the point exactly ;-)

    Pardon any bad englisch ;-)

  2. By Rich on Aug 5, 2010 | Reply

    I agree with you. Let’s start an unsafe commune and raise our children the dangerous way.

  3. By brad on Aug 6, 2010 | Reply

    My manager writes:

    I read your post about slides. Did you know that in NYC – or at least in the Bronx and Manhattan – slides are called ‘sliding ponds’? No one ever questions this. It’s a nearly instinctive thing from childhood. If you ask Stewart what a sliding pond is, he’ll tell you without hesitation. In fact, if you ask him what the metal thing in the playground is that you go down, occasionally head-first, and he’ll probably say it’s a sliding pond, rather than a slide. And why “pond’? Good friggin question that no one can really answer authoritatively. There’s a theory that it came from Dutch New Amsterdam, along with the front stoop. But no one is sure.


  4. By Andrea on Aug 6, 2010 | Reply

    Talking about the good days is how I searched to find this site. You guys are part of my good days. Saw you in Minneapolis. Best show ever. That said, my dad used to let us ride in the back of his truck and then he would slam on the brakes to make us slide. Now that’s a slide. Yes, the good ole’ days are leaving us but I am a mother of a risk taking 10 year old boy that doesn’t wear a helmet. I lived through my childhood and I’m certain if I keep telling him not to do stupid shit…he’ll make it without the helmet!

  5. By Sheila on Aug 6, 2010 | Reply

    I agree 100%. Growing up in Winnipeg, I remember the shiny slides that were so hot in the summer time that it hurt to go down them, or the swings that had the thick canvas seat and bolts on the side of the chains, or playing outside until the street lights came on – that’s when you knew it was time to go home.I have issues with how everything is so overly sheltered now days. All I have to say is besides a few scares, we turned out ok.

  6. By Kathryn on Aug 7, 2010 | Reply

    Nothing will ever be the same! Thank God we still have those memories!!!!

  7. By collin on Aug 7, 2010 | Reply

    hw aout monky bars or merry- go- rounds. teeter toters all the fun things are gone!!

  8. By cruelshoes on Aug 10, 2010 | Reply

    we still have those shiny metal slides in our local park. and they are STEEP brother!

  9. By Pete on Aug 10, 2010 | Reply

    I hear you. Those days are long-gone. When I was a kid, my mom wouldn’t let us come in the house during the summer. We HAD to go out and play at least until dinner time.

    Now I’ve got my own kids–and I can’t let them outside alone beyond our block for fear that some creep will abscond with them

    I am not a fan of bike helmets. And while I’m not one to chortle when kids get hurt, I think scratches and cuts and bruises are part of growing up. Today’s kids are gonna be softies.

  10. By Eric on Aug 10, 2010 | Reply

    I remember laying across the back dash of our car on long drives when I was a kid. If I let my kid do that now I would be hauled off and my son would be put in to foster care…

    Sliding pond? …wtf

  11. By Norman on Aug 16, 2010 | Reply

    Yes, back in the day we lived without a care in the world but now, look at us. Well, when it comes to being a kid it really depends on where you grow up. A friend of mine is just leaving Berlin with her family because her son is old enough for school now and she, being a teacher, knows that the circumstances are bad. They can’t afford a place in one of the snuglier parts of town so they’re leaving altogether in order to protect their child from metropolitan craziness.

    We live in the abundance of things and I think it’s exactly that what drives people mad sometimes because it can be too much to handle, just like the inspiration behind todays slides or sliding ponds. A more gradual, safer descent? Give me the gun-shaped stick, damn it.

    Oh, I love the new record by the way. It’s absolutely beautiful.

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