Thursday, January 15, 2009


Mexican games are way more fun. And dangerous. Basically, they are more fun because they are dangerous. Where else is it acceptable to give a kid a bat, blindfold him, spin him around until he's dizzy and send him off at a crowded party to hit a papier-mâché donkey which, by the way, is moving? The US version, pin the tail on the donkey, is much more tame, the biggest danger being a piece of tape or a push pin.

Also fun: Mexican playgrounds. I am of the firm belief that kids are meant to get hurt. That's how they learn. And the introduction of lawyers in to the situation is just less fun for everyone. When I was a kid we had a great playground: merry-go-round, teeter-totter, rickety slide. Of course, my brother broke his collar bone at the tender age of one, but he got better. No lawsuits there.

As American playgrounds are becoming increasingly sanitized (guard rails, plastic anti-bacterial coatings, the replacement of concrete and sand with wood chips), I yearn for the real playgrounds. The ones that kids like. And that is why, as an overgrown kid, I have found Mexico to be an utter joy.

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