My Trampoline Escapade


By Jack Edwards

Why is it that the same parents who won’t shut up about the critical importance of putting their kids in a booster seat until they are at least seven feet tall or weigh 235 pounds all have trampolines in their backyards? My youngest daughter started whining about getting a trampoline last summer. “I need one!” “I’m a dancer. It will improve my balance!” “Everybody has one! [Insert laundry list of names of her friends here – all of which end in “i”].

I gave her both barrels. NO, the idea was pure insanity. NO, not during my lifetime. I explained to her using my extra calm rational adult voice that getting a trampoline was akin begging to spend the rest of her life in one of those special wheelchairs – one that operates by blowing into the little straw. That all of her friends’ parents who had a trampoline were mindless idiots who failed to understand the dangers inherent in repeatedly launching one’s body into the air toward an uncertain landing. That the sooner she forgot the idea the better.

I arrived home the next day as my wife and daughter were just putting the finishing touches on their assembly of our family’s new trampoline.

Of course, becoming a quadriplegic is only the beginning of the fun. Here are additional benefits:

  1. Besides risking your own children’s safety and wellbeing, you can risk your kids’ friends’ lives as well. There’s absolutely no additional cost or obligation.
  2. Because there is nothing that kids love more than jumping on a trampoline together, you get to discover how much blunt force trauma a six-year-old skull can sustain while still only suffering from a “closed concussion,” as a result of their little melon heads smacking into one another at Mach speed.
  3. You get to experience the rush of adrenaline released at the moment your insurance agent tells you that your overpriced homeowner’s policy excludes trampoline coverage.

Naturally, your new deathtrap is practically wallpapered with official labels written by the manufacture’s crack legal team. The warnings inform you that using the device for its intended purpose will likely be the cause of the user’s painful demise. (Trampoline manufactures recruit their lawyers from tobacco companies, after the lawyers have grown bored of defending lung cancer lawsuits and seek the challenge and excitement that comes from defending against “nuisance” lawsuits from the parents of paralyzed youngsters).

I’d love to write about the joys of trampoline ownership further, but I don’t have time. I have to go blow the dust off those car booster seats in the garage. My youngest kid is only 14, and I’ve decided the safe and prudent thing to do is to make her use one until she’s at least 18.