Breaking News: Don't be fooled. Childhood innocence is just a myth.

Because I owe you for a near-week of silence around these parts, I will share with you two stories in the recent news. The first is one of childhood innocence, shattered by curmudgeony betrayal. In this story, children go absolutely crazy with sidewalk chalk, and construct a square city block long hopscotch. A delightful thought, no? But only up until some loser calls the city and they bring the big (water) guns in and obliterate every scrap of carefree joy. Reminds me of the time they tried to ban street hockey in New Brunswick that time.

Glebe children and their parents are furious a playful neighbourhood game
of hopscotch that eventually grew to cover four city blocks was power-blasted
from existence by a city of Ottawa anti-graffiti squad.

While the elaborate street game, chalked out by a dozen children on
Third Avenue, was viewed by some neighbours as innocent fun, one resident
apparently called to complain about "graffiti" on the road.

A maintenance truck was called in Thursday and spent an hour washing away
the youngsters' efforts -- a move city officials admitted yesterday may have
been a bit too hasty.

Ya think?

Anyway, the citizens of Ottawa took up arms (and chalk) and protested. And the police showed up and took care of those rowdies, let me tell you.

The second story is along the same vein, this time involving another icon of childhood play -- the tire swing. Only this swing is special, dangling from a white pine branch some 40 feet (unconfirmed) off the ground, next to a well-travelled highway (that happens to be ridiculously close to my house). There's a happy ending to this one, though, folks. You see, when several youngsters noticed within two days that the tire had gone missing, they did what any concerned citizen would do. They immediately started up a facebook group (One which now counts over 3,000 among its members, including yours truly). While they were brainstorming how to scale the tree to mount a sign lamenting the loss of the tree tire, they came across what they believed was the actual tire that somehow had left its dangling perch high above their heads. Then it occurred to them that they should just re-hang the tire. And so they did.

There. You're up to date on all that is trivial in Canadian news. You can thank me later when you're thinking of light conversation at the bar.

Posted bythemikestand at 4:02 PM  

5 stepped up to the mike:

Mabel said... 9:17 AM, May 15, 2007  

That tire is just such a riddle. Does anyone in your group of 3,000 (!) know where it originated?

Sassy said... 11:15 AM, May 15, 2007  

The person who reported the "chalk incident" sounds like my ex neighbours. They were crusty old people with nothing better to do but complain about children and leave their Christmas tree up until April. Weird old birds. Ha!

chRistine said... 10:11 AM, May 16, 2007  

sounds like they're from courtice, the land where no one allows anyone to be happy.

Lesley said... 12:01 PM, May 16, 2007  

It really does take just one asshat to ruin a whole lot of fun doesn't it?
I bet that neighbour won't be invited to the next block party.

Anonymous said... 5:08 PM, May 16, 2007  

I'd figure out who called the city and hopscotch their face!

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