The other night at the park, Fringeman’s technological toys were mocked by a nine year-old.
It was a warm, sunny evening – the kind of evening that makes staying inside wasteful, so we decided to take the kids to the park. They could run-amuck on the playground while we took a spin or two around the track. There’s nothing more invigorating than a good brisk walk in the fresh air. So after two ten full laps, we headed over to the benches to check on the kids.
This park of ours is a great place. There’s a paved path winding through the fields that takes you on a walk totalling .7 miles once around. This walking trail is both fun and dangerous, but I suppose that’s what gives it charm. While strolling along, you must watch for packs of bicyclers, roller-blading bullets, and three year-olds on those razor scooters. The Little ones are the most dangerous of all. They are quite fast and dodging them takes the skill of a statistician.
The playground is not only physically engaging, but provides personalized fall-protection equipment and an optional insurance policy. Not really, but my exaggerations are not far from truth.
As a child I played on concrete more often than not. When I fell, I busted large gouges in my knee that resulted in blood, scabs, and gauzy band-aids. We got concussions and lived to tell about them. We thought helmets were only for motorcycles and knee pads for professional football players.
Today kid’s heads are protected with insulated plastic and their knees with padding thicker than my mattress. We don’t allow them to play on concrete and the playgrounds use feathers below the swings in place of grass. In this day of lawsuits and overprotection, I wonder if we take less trips to the emergency room for broken bones, stitches, and lost teeth. Just curious.
Back to the point.
There’s not much of a point and if you’ve read this far, you deserve a prize.
You’re also out of luck. No prizes.
By the time we sludgedsped our way around the walking path, our kids had found a gang of hooligans to play with and my son and his cohorts were devising a complicated and intense game of tag. They were trying to locate a rock to use as base; however, all rocks have been removed from the playground along with splinters and sand. DANGERS.
That’s when this kid, who is about my son’s age, whips out his cell phone and momentarily considers using it as base.
FringeMan looked at me like a puppy who’d just had his diploma from obedience school revoked.
“That kid has my new phone.” He whined.
Deflated. Defunked. Bummed. A Loser. Unsavy. Flunkee. Has Been. Out of Date. Underdog. FringeMan.
FringeMan has been hanging onto this hockey puck of a cell phone for five years. He’s nursed the battery along, spoken to it kindly, and prayed over it. Finally he broke down and purchased a new phone – a flip phone. He was so proud when he came home flipping his phone. Although it didn’t have a camera or any ‘extras’, it was certainly a step above the hockey puck.
Harsh reality struck when this mere child flipped his phone on the playground.
I don’t think FringeMan’s ego has recovered.
I’m just amazed that I had to wait 31 years to get a cell-phone. Since I’m only twenty-seven, that’s longer than I’ve been alive! What happened to little boys getting race cars and soccer balls?