Strange “bench” with tubing near the parking lot of an old elementary school! Any idea?

More photos here:

r/whatisthisthing - Strange “bench” with tubing near the parking lot of an old elementary school

 

r/whatisthisthing - Strange “bench” with tubing near the parking lot of an old elementary school

 

Some of the answers:

  1. This is legit playground equipment from the 70s-80s. You lay on your back and slide through by pulling on the bars.
  2. I’m starting to believe what my parents told me about walking to school uphill in the snow both ways
  3. I vividly remember going to a park that had giant metal barrels that you ran on like the outside of a hamster wheel. You ran on the metal barrel, with giant metal bars on either side for balance, that was mounted into the asphalt. It was so ridiculously dangerous, and I have no idea how no one noticed how dangerous it was.We also used to go to the toboggan slides. Which were just giant concrete flues going down the side of a hill. So you put your toboggan or sled into a concrete chute and went down. Again, so ridiculously dangerous.
  4. Life is dangerous. We learned how to spot dangerous parts of a situation, avoid them, and still have fun. Kind of a useful life skill to have.
  5. Pretty much the only thing that saves some kids is how incredibly lucky they are. I remember “exploring” creeks in Alabama infested with water moccasins, learned zero from it other than looking back and realizing I had a death wish.
  6. We didn’t have water moccasins but I went to a summer camp in a state park and the counselors (who I now realize were like 19) let us have wars in the park. We also went hiking in McKeenys cave. Which was a large, long storm drain that led to the ocean.
  7. From the ozarks and same here, our summer day camp was in a forest and the teenage/college age counselors would let us roam free and have wars with mudballs and stick swords. No way that would fly nowadays
  8. We played on gravel under the swing sets in pre-K. One day, we were playing castle and the girl who was princess ordered the robber to have gravel in his ears. He put gravel in his ears… Thank goodness we were right across the street from the hospital.lmaoEta: this was probably ’97/’98
  9. Omg…I did the same thing in Mississippi but my “exploring” was me and my brother following the creek upstream after a torrential downpour and then riding the current back to near our house. But I only did this once… I was in the lead and the current was super strong. Hadn’t made it even halfway back and there I was in the dab middle of the creek when I see a water moccasin in my path about 10 ft up. The snake wasn’t riding the current like I was instead it was trying to cross to the other side. The current was too strong and the water too deep to stop from t-boning this snake. The rain had turned the embankments to mud so every plant I grabbed just pulled right out of the ground.Yeah I was one of those lucky kids to not die that day. I was able to dig my hands deep enough in the mud to slow down enough to crawl out of the water. Not sure how old I was but I moved to Alabama when I was going into the 5th grade and this would have been year before that.I never creek surfed again!
  10. That was always one of my favorite things when I was a kid. I liked to find a spot where the river did a hairpin curve so I had a shorter walk to my “put in” spot, just up the hill instead of having to walk the whole distance along the riverbank.I was always smart enough not to try it right after a rain when the river was swollen, though. Flash floods are nothing to play with.
  11. I didn’t find out until he was grown (and I’m kind of glad I didn’t), but when my older son was in his early double digits he would go out to spend time with his friends. There was a large labyrinthine storm drainage system underneath our neighborhood that was large enough for a kid to walk in, and they did. They explored a good part of the system and even had secret clubhouse areas in there. If something had happened to him in there, I’d have never known and he would have been a mysteriously vanished child.
  12. My buddy’s back yard backed up to a cement flood control canal. We used to hop his fence and walk down the canal to the railroad tracks, which lead to the back of a local park. Why we didn’t just walk down the street I don’t know. It was a rite of passage to sit under the little timber bridge over the canal when the train passed overhead without running away. Kids do stupid stuff.
  13. I have 5 small scars on my right hand alone and each one either has a fascinating or absolutely stupid story behind it. Do not regret one bit lol
  14. I have a scar the side of one of my eyes because I thought I was a super hero, piled all the couch cushions on the coffee table, and then jumped belly first onto them.Young me wasn’t the best at securing couch cushions to a smooth surface with friction alone, cushions parted ways as I landed on them and my face went into the edge of the table.But I made the jump!
  15. We” being the kids who can still type because they didn’t suffer catastrophic head trauma at age 6. Survivorship bias in its purest form lol
  16. Today we just place a lot more emphasis on safety because we better understand long term trauma. Head trauma, broken bones etc all have lasting impacts on children. They fall behind in school, they fall behind in activities etc. If an injury can be prevented, why not make it a little safer?no point in making things needlessly dangerous to prove a point.
  17. There needs to be a balance. It has been shown that kids need to be able to experience some risk and consequences of that for their long term well being. So too dangerous is bad, but too safe is bad too. It is the happy medium that is important.
  18. ure. In this case, Wasn’t the balance struck when we reengineered the dangerous playground equipment to avoid long term physical and developmental trauma?We didn’t eliminate playgrounds as a reaction, we just set our phasers from gore, to stun.You can still eat shit off the top of the slide, twist and break a leg, rope & friction burns, skinned knees, busted teeth, all that good kid stuff. But learning risk and consequences doesn’t require physical pain, lolIt’s just a lot harder to crack skulls, sever limbs and digits, pinch, drag, throw, crush, trap, or bury children, and avoid varying degrees of burned flesh from hot steel.

    Old playgrounds were seriously maiming, we had a couple really brutal ones left during my childhood as late as the early 90’s. The main one I remember was one of those 20ft tall geometric domes over painted concrete.

    Sure, most kids got out fine, but an unacceptable number definitely didn’t.

  19. When I was in early grade school, a kid I knew was leaning back in his chair, fell, and hit his head on the desk behind him … just like the teacher always warned us we would. His mom had to come get him because he blacked out and started shaking (as I remember it … this was in the early ’70s). Some time later, the teacher told us he wasn’t coming back. He’d suffered some kind of brain trauma and was going to need special care.Even though details are fuzzy, I doubt I’ll ever forget it.
  20. That sounds to me like the kind of pithy statement that is just believable enough to keep getting passed around, but doesn’t have any actual evidence or truth behind it. We survived it, but that doesn’t prove that we’re better for it.Accidents happen, but skinned knees and scraped elbows are plenty unpleasant and perfectly good teachers. There’s nothing particularly educational or fun about exposing kids to broken bones or worse.
  21. Exactly. Survivorship bias, “I turned out just fine, etc.!” I hate to see stuff like the comment you’re replying to because it implies that people were somehow better for experiencing potentially grave injuries as children (not talking about skinned knees, just to be clear, I wholeheartedly agree with you that those are perfectly good learning experiences).And for the record, I was no stranger to dangerous childhood activities or old ass playground equipment (we had one of those big wooden ones before they replaced it, always infested with wasps). I’m all for getting dirty but there’s a fine line between that and no safety whatsoever.Edit: and that’s not even mentioning emotional/physical abuse, etc.
  22. A friend of mine at the time has permanent brain damage and lives in a group home 40 years after learning that life skill the hard way. Kids died and were permanently injured, that is why things are not done like that anymore. People get sad when kids get brain damage and others of us get traumatised watching someone crack their skull open and bleed all over the nice hard asphalt.
  23. We had huge drainage pipes on our playground that used to house families of raccoons. Not attached to anything, & occasionally wild dogs and cats would live there too. The pipes were about 4 foot high and I could run full speed into them without ducking… That is until the next year and apparently I had a growth spurt over the summer and about decapitated my self the first day of school by running full speed into the pipe & clipping myself right in the forehead. Ambulance had to come and everything. Still have a big scar across my brow from it.

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