The sun is rising later and setting earlier. There’s a noticeable chill slowly creeping into the air, pushing aside those triple-digit dog days for a cooler crispness. Summer is rapidly and sadly coming to a close, denizens.
Here at the lair, however, I’m holding on with all four paws and digging in the claws…just not too deeply, or else I might rip right through today’s summer fun-inspired flashback: Wham-O’s very own Slip ‘n Slide. Unfamiliar with this particular bit of summer nostalgia? Let me introduce you:
Yes, that’s right: This was apparently the ultimate in summertime fun for skinny suburban White kids.
Thinking about this product now, I can’t help but wonder if it wasn’t created by frat boys on a weekend bender. Seriously, I can already imagine the prototype as being nothing more than several trash bags duct-taped together and pinned down with croquet wickets and tent spikes. Have a couple of guys stand on each side with hoses (or even worse, bladders full of Beast or PBR) to keep everything slick, do a couple of beer funnels, and you’re off!
I never owned a Slip ‘n Slide. However, one of my cousins did. We set it up during one of my visits to see my grandparents. The problem, though, was that my grandparents didn’t have a typical backyard. You know the kind: flat, level, grassy…soft. Instead, their backyard was at a severe angle, had wooden steps embedded right down the center, was composed mostly of sand and random tree detritus, and really wasn’t the type of landing you’d want if you happened to slide right off the edge of the yellow runway…which, let’s face it, was always the ultimate destiny of inexperienced Slip ‘n Sliders, whether drunk or sober.
I remember slipping, sliding, and bruising only a few times that day before coming to my senses and realizing that helping to de-flea the dogs would have been more enjoyable than spending the rest of my afternoon picking sand grit out of my teeth and pine needles out of my knees. Also, I can assure you that being anything less than beanpole skinny made sliding along that plastic, no matter how much water was present, an exercise in chafing that is not recommended for any age.
Honestly? I can’t believe they still make this thing. Talk about a litigious wet dream…literally and figuratively. I can’t imagine how many injuries have been reported throughout the Slip ‘n Slide’s 50-year existence. Yet it’s still going strong, in all kinds of iterations.
So, there you go…Loba’s recommendation for this last holiday weekend of the summer: Head on over to Wal-mart, pick up a Slip ‘n Slide (or, if you’re into DIY, some trash bags, duct tape, and tent spikes), stop off at the liquor store for some beer (preferably something a little higher quality than Milwaukee’s Best…have some pride!), and slip-slide your troubles away.
I’ll alert the medics to be on standby now…