What Goes Up Must Giant Slide Down

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Giant slide in Brilliant, OH

It’s Giant. It’s A Slide. It’s A Giant Slide.

Some things never go out of style.  Two weeks ago I wrote about the enduring appeal of photo booths.  Today, I’d like to discuss slides. Whether we’re in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania or Wheeling, West Virginia, or even Akron, Ohio everyone of every age loves a slide.  Take a look at the women in the adjacent picture.  They rented our Giant Inflatable Slide for their vacation bible school. Look closely at their faces.  What do you see? Smiles, and not tiny Mona Lisa smiles, huge ones. Why? Why do adults love the simple joy of sliding as much as children?  For that matter, why do kids love our inflated slides? It’s not as though they’ve never seen one. Even the most dilapidated urban playground has a sliding board.  Sure it’s covered in Tetanus and  who knows what else, but the local kids have undoubtedly slid down it.  So it can’t be the novelty.

Might the size of a giant slide be what draws people in?  Maybe, but most really aren’t that much higher than the aforementioned sliding board at your neighborhood park.  While our Titanic themed inflated slide is nearly thirty feet high, the platform of our Giant Slide is only about fifteen feet from the ground.  When I was a child our local park had a metal slide that, aside from inflicting third degree burns on our short bedecked legs in the summer months, was every bit of fifteen feet high. I’m certain that our’s wasn’t the only one.  As a father of three, soon to be four, small children who love playgrounds almost as much as they like coming up with excuses to get out of bed, I can attest that there are still many parks and playgrounds that boast ten and twelve foot slides.

So, if it isn’t the size, or the uniqueness, what is it? Is it simple biology and physics? Is it that feeling of our stomach dropping that makes us giggle? According to Dr. Brad Segura from the University of Minnesota, no one even really understands what causes that sensation.  We do know that when we begin to feel a sense of panic our body reacts by dumping copious amounts of endorphins into our brains which, according to WebMD, “trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.” Does that mean that we slide so that we can get high? What does that make us? We take our giant slide to schools and churches. Hey kid.  You want to take a slide?  The first one’s free.

Sure it makes us feel good biochemically, but I still think that there’s more to it…or rather, less.  It’s my belief that we enjoy inflated, water, and playground slides for the same reason that we like to walk on the beach or lie in the grass and make dinosaurs out of clouds. We rent slides for our parties because they are simple fun.  Our brains aren’t being bombarded with the hyper-reality colors and sounds of video games or hi-definition 3D television shows and movies.  For a few seconds all that exists is the wind in our faces and the sound of our own laughter.  What else does anybody really need?

So, whether you are planning a back to school event or birthday party, you can’t go wrong if you rent an inflatable slide.

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