Formerly 'Rambling with a cantankerous old mule"
On Tuesday I blogged about my niece’s eighth birthday party, which was held last Sunday, and the fun the kids had with the water slide. I also mentioned the other activity that kept them busy all afternoon – the foefie slide. At least one of my readers seemed confused about what a “foefie slide” was, so I thought I’d clarify:
Foefie slide (ˈfu:fiː): A rope or cable with a suspended handle or pulley with which one may slide between two points, one higher than the other.
Back in the day, when I worked for Outward Bound, I remember my British, Australian and New Zealand colleagues referring to it as a “Flying Fox” (but don’t quote me on that). In the US and Canada it’s known as a zipline.
Standing there, catching the kids before they plowed into the tree at the bottom end of the cable, I reflected on the fact that this would probably not have been taking place were we in a back yard in any other first-world country (because of the fear of litigation). I’m also convinced that my orthopaedic doctor friend wouldn’t have been overjoyed to see the kids jumping out of a tree and speeding down a cable with only a camera-toting man at the bottom to catch them.
But they had a blast. And South African kids are strong, and tough! (Do note that most were girls, by the way.)
It all started out very clinically – with all the other kids out of the way, in case the foefie-slider fell into the water slide (or onto them) below. But eventually the others turned it into a war game, hurling suds at the foefie-slider as he or she hurtled past.
Steve, one of my readers, commented on my post yesterday, “It’s great to see kids playing and having fun for real and not computer games.”
What do you think? Would you expect to see a foefie slide or, more accurately, a zipline at a kids party where you live? Do you think children should be outside having fun like this or does this make your blood run cold?
(Just as an aside, many of these kids’ parents were actually present.)