Memory Lane: Don’t Try This!

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“Hey! Don’t touch that umbrella!”

When I was a boy, TV was loaded with ancient black-and-white cartoons–those old “Farmer Grey”cartoons, by Paul Terry. You might not be old enough ever to have seen one.

A common feature in many of these cartoons was cats, mice, and sometimes humans jumping off a rooftop and wafting gently to the earth by using an umbrella as a parachute.

This does not work in real life (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/peoplesdaily/article-4420876/Boy-jumped-five-storey-home-holding-umbrella.html). The host of one of those cartoon shows, “Uncle Fred” Sayles (he also MC’d wrestling), used to have to issue frequent reminders to his youthful audience not to try this. But kids did try it, and some of them got hurt. But good. I would have tried it myself, but I didn’t have anyplace handy for jumping off.

Is it necessary to explain why this doesn’t work? Like, is there any 29-year-old Gender Studies major who thinks it might work, if you use a big enough umbrella? Yo, genius, stick to Play-Doh.

Kids try crazy things because they don’t know any better. That’s why we don’t give them credit cards and drivers’ licenses.

And we still can’t stop overgrown kids from trying to eat detergent pods because they saw it on Youtube.

3 comments on “Memory Lane: Don’t Try This!

  1. Taken literally, cartoons are the most violent entertainment imaginable, but even when I was a child, I knew that they shouldn’t be taken literally. It’s sad to see the picture of a little boy lying injured like that and I’m sure it was just a freak accident, a momentary lapse of judgment and, perhaps, more than a bit of juvenile folly. It’s sad; very sad, but I don’t blame the cartoon. It’s just one of many sad things which happen in a fallen world.

  2. I remember vividly trying to walk on air. I was about four years old and had seen cartoons where the main character runs off a cliff, then standing on air realizes where he is, and then runs back on air back to solid ground. I tried this on the front porch of our house which had a cement support that rose a couple of feet above the cement floor to support the overhead beam. I walked out onto the air and discovered gravity. I can remember what the front porch looked like. But a woman in her 50’s who claims she was sexually assaulted when 15 can’t remember hardly anything about it. – not believable, especially when her friends that she says can collaborate it all say they can’t.

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