Playing used to be a lot more fun for a kid because there was an element of danger to it, which made it more exciting.
You could rip your pants and skin your knees and elbows on playgrounds paved with asphalt, plummet from the tops of towering slides to the unpadded concrete surface below, suffer the piercings of splinters released by wooden swing seats and seesaws, and break arms and legs on monstrous metal carousels.
Kids riding bikes didn't have helmets and knee pads back then, and their handlebars weren't cushioned. When they staged mock battles, sticks were the weapons of choice, not plastic lightsabers with battery-operated flashing lights and sound effects.
In those days, an injury was a badge of honor. Kids with broken limbs were heroic figures, and they were idolized.
It's not like that anymore. Safety seems to be our paramount concern now. When an accident happens, the person involved never even considers accepting responsibility for it, acts as if it should never have been allowed to happen, and blames it on someone else.
Such “victims” clog our courts, seeking hefty payouts from the evildoers who plotted (or through negligence made possible) the alleged downfalls.
Nancy Maxwell may be one of them. She claims she slipped and injured herself two years ago because of a freshly mopped floor in a hallway to the bathroom at the Chick-fil-A on College Street.
Maxwell recently filed suit against the restaurant chain in Jefferson County District Court, seeking up to $200,000 in damages for their failure to identify the “hazard” to which she – apparently alone of all the customers that day – allegedly succumbed.
Why did none of the other customers suffer the same fate as Maxwell? Was she not looking where she was going? If a warning cone had been there, would that have proved to be a hazard as well?
We don't know the answers to those questions, but we do remember when they didn't have to be asked so frequently.