Wednesday, May 2, 2012


What is it about WIPEOUT that has us near tears every time we watch it? I remember talking to the fam when I was in the hospital the night I had Kaia. The background was filled with that are-you-choking-or-laughing laughter. I got 0 attention from any of the kids {and only 50% from the Yoshi!} Sure enough, my competitor was Wipeout. And I had just had a baby. Go figure.

Is it really funny to get hammered with swinging arms? Or to get a crotch-shot by an unexpected object? Is it the big balls? The big balls that make DANGER appear very, very fun?

I don't know. I can't imagine it feeling that funny. But it is definitely funny... to watch it happen to someone else!

Ad while I doubt it feels funny, those contestants would have a hard time convincing any of us they aren't having fun. They get forcefully propelled off a 15 foot wall, do a back flip with a twist, and land it in a perfect belly flop...and come up smiling. Only to be faced with the big balls. After successfully landing the first one, their bounce is off and they gracefully catch the second big ball with their head, better yet, their neck. Which forces then into an in-the-air, feet to head back bend.

And they love it. Can't get enough of it.

And many on-lookers envy it. Waiting for their chance to be a contestant. How many friends do you have just dying to get on that show? There's something horrifically enticing about it....

Which brings me to my over-crowded mall play area.

The designers of this place kept it classic and went with the theme And placed the play area right in the middle of....the food court. So as you are ferociously shoving down McD's cheeseburger and fries, you are simultaneously watching your kids balance beam their way across the banana. And slide down the watermelon. And tunnel through the drippy ice cream cone. And don't forget the awesome larger than life hot dog in the back.

Especially genius in this design was the material they chose. It's the spongy stuff. Not far off from the tenacity of your 20 year old mattress. It's got just enough cushion to ward off any concussions or broken bones.

And you need that safeguard. Throw 25 1-4 year old kids in this padded food rink and watch the madness.

{imagine lots more kids here and you get the idea}

In my short hour observation, I was not at a loss for entertainment. I saw that little banana-balance-beam-walker get served an unanticipated serving of banana splits. That hot dog was a magnet for kids to attempt to scale it. Do remember, it can be almost twice their size for some of these little ones. And it was not afraid to reject them time and time again, landing them on their back. But with a soft, visible bounce, they were back up and at it again. I saw siblings full-on wrestling, having no respect for anyone in their way. They took out innocent victims without an apology. And as expected, everyone came out smiling and giggling, thirsty for more. There was no shortage of head-on collisions, with other kids and with the food itself.

These children WERE NOT PHASED by the madness. They were not intimidated by the potential danger. They were not discouraged by the temporary injuries- they were in it to win it.

Us parents filled the L-shaped sitting area, watching with only a bit wider eyes than we would have while watching Wipeout. After all, our children were the contestants, not unrelated, detached goof balls. But even so, we watched and didn't interrupt the chaos and did our responsible part of documenting the absurdity in the storage of our cell phones.

I've unintentionally been out of the play area loop for awhile, but I'll have you know...we're back in the game. I forgot how grossly entertaining it is to let my kids participate and me, myself, sit back and spectate. A twisted phenomena that sucks you in, not far off from the widely-loved television show... WIPEOUT.

Haters, what's all the hatin' for?!! These places are awesome, right?!!


  1. My whole family wants to be on that show! Actually we would just love to rent the place out for a family reunion and all of us have a hay day trying to beat out the other siblings. Ahhh, I can just imagine what fun...

  2. I could use a good episode of Wipeout right now. Maybe I'll just hit up the mall playground?


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