Dr. Grumpy's Guide to Life, Chapter 1
(As a public service I have written the following, for you to print off and use before your next Pump-It-Up party. For those of you who don't have small children, or simply live in a box, Pump-It-Up is a national chain with indoor giant inflatable bouncers to hold kid's birthday parties at).
Congratulations! You've decided to host your child's party at Pump-It-Up.
They and their friends will enjoy it a great deal.
Key things to remember:
1. Going into the giant inflatable bouncing arena to fight your kids with oversized boxing gloves and paddles looks easy. Because of your higher center of gravity, however, you'll quickly find out that you're at a distinct disadvantage. In fact, you will likely get your ass kicked fairly easily by the swarm of 1st graders who will line up for a chance to beat you. Fighting on your knees does not improve the situation, and makes it easier for one of their partners to sneak up and jump on your back.
2. Although adults are welcome to go on all the giant bouncers, they are not adult friendly. In particular, the inflatable obstacle course is a good way to get yourself killed. When a kid claws up the inflatable steps and ladder to both of the slides involved, they have plenty of space to reposition themselves at the top to go down the slide feet first. YOU WON'T, and may find yourself pulling yourself to the top of the ladder, then as you are amazed you made it that far, you'll suddenly pitch forward uncontrollably, going down the slide head first and wrenching your neck at the bottom (which I did). While you're lying there, trying to figure out if you can still move your legs, a friendly teenage attendant will come over to remind you that head-first isn't allowed, and to please not do it again.
The steps in the obstacle course ladders are designed for kids and adult pygmies. You will be lucky to be able to use them as toeholds. Trying to climb them with your feet sideways only helps somewhat.
As you struggle through the obstacle course, you can expect to be passed by several kindergartners, who will wonder why their friend's Dad is so slow.
3. You WILL be injured. At present my neck is still stiff and my left ankle is killing me. I also have multiple bruises from falls and being stepped on, and several knee and elbow scrapes. When you first enter the facility and fill out the forms about how many kids you have with you and how many pizzas and bottles of pop you want, I recommend you give them a card listing your insurance coverage, hospital preference, and blood type.
4. Do not feed yourself or your kids a large meal before going unless you wish to spend some of the bouncer time you paid for watching a friendly teenage attendant clean Taco Bell out of a bouncer.
5. If one of the fun-loving kids traps you inside something by turning off the air compressor, don't panic. Before you asphyxiate from vinyl a friendly teenage attendant will turn it back on again, then lecture you not to do it again.
Enjoy! You just paid a fortune for your injuries!
If you follow these simple precautions, you will likely live to see your child's next birthday party - which will also be held at Pump-it-Up.