As mankind marches towards the final flag in the Double Dare obstacle course of mortality, he or she will somehow try to recapture their childhood in some small way. You’ve probably got a couple of toys or small kids’ games on your desk that remind you of your favorite plaything or an original print of an animated movie in a tasteful frame hanging in your living room. Some people, however, try to turn back the clock in such an extreme way that trying to invent time travel or infect themselves with some kind of genetic, Benjamin Button syndrome seems sane by comparison. These are the childhood games, staples and experiences that some grown ups are actually paying to experience.
The childhood sport invented for kids who don’t have enough talent to pretend they know how to play baseball has become one of the more popular adult intramural league sports. Of course, when we say “adult,” we use the term loosely since they presumably have a job, a house and kids of their own and they’re still playing kickball with people other than their kids.
Plus, they aren’t just going to the park and kicking little league teams off of the public diamond so they can kick a rubber ball around the field to sweat away the guilt of damaging a future baseball player’s dream. Some of them are actually paying up to $70 a team to join leagues like the World Adult Kickball Association. Some or most of them are paying to play because it’s a fun way to get regular exercise and meet people who share a common interest but by the same logic, so is playing hopscotch and Red Rover and there aren’t adult leagues for that…yet.
2. Double Dutch
Jumping rope might not sound like a manly activity to get in shape but it’s a staple of boxers’ workout routines. It not only builds leg and feet strength but it’s also a cheap way to increase coordination and stamina. Plus, no one has the guts to walk up to someone with a chest the size of a semi-truck’s front grill and tell them that unless they are really curious to know how their elbow tastes.
So by that logic, double dutch could fall into the same category but it loses credibility when people starting paying someone to teach them how to do it. According to The Wall Street Journal, a small business in Brooklyn, N.Y. charges $500 to $1,000 for double dutch lessons and sessions for private parties and corporate events. That explains A LOT. Things like the housing bubble that almost crashed the global economy awhile back suddenly make a lot more sense.
3. Bike Lessons
Some might be taking the fact that they know how to ride a bike for granted because not every family could afford to buy a shiny, new bicycle. And even if you were fortunate enough to get one, taking your first ride without the training wheels could be just as harrowing of an experience as the first time you accidentally watched the shower scene in Starship Troopers with your parents (only with a higher possibility of permanent head trauma).
So it’s understandable that some grown adults might not have been lucky enough to learn how to ride a bike. However, paying someone to teach you for $25 a lesson or around $100 for a group of four like one business in Boston does, according to a Boston Globe report, seems a little steep. If you can’t even ask some friends who would be willing to do it for free without giggling, we’re also assuming you grew up in one of those super rich, Romney-esque families where bike riding is frowned upon because the shocks to your pelvis would interfere with your equestrian scholarship.
4. Breast Milk
If you can actually remember when your dear sweet mother would feed your tiny body with the milk dispensers that the good Lord gave her, then your health insurance really should not have a spending cap on your mental health premium.
Apparently, mental health isn’t as hard to get in China as it is in the U.S. because human breast milk is a booming industry…for adults. Some of their more wealthy residents are shelling out up to 20,000 yuan (up to $3,300) for wet nurses to provide them with steady doses of fresh breast milk (and we mean fresh in the strictest sense of the word). Some believe it can help reduce illness presumably because it can induce vomiting.
The first bib you used as a baby probably wasn’t free but since it came from your parents. However, you assumed that it was because you were too young to understand concepts like dining etiquette, economics and the trading of currency for goods and services, you greedy little piggy.
Besides, even if you didn’t have one, you could always tuck a napkin or two under your collar to keep food off your clothes if you possess a bewildering lack of basic feeding skills because you were raised by Denisovan cavemen. If even that won’t prevent your cleanest shirt from looking like a Jackson Pollock painting, you can buy a bib for adults called “The Slobstopper,” a full length bib that covers your entire shirt and even your lap from food crumbs and stains. At this point, I would have suggested that an old blanket not worth keeping would work as well and it could still help you slowly realize your psychological trauma or salivary gland issues.
6. Paper Fortune Tellers
Remember those little origami fortune tellers you used to make with the paper from your notebook that was just going to go waste anyway on things like your education and mental development? That stuff wasn’t important. You needed invisible fate demons to tell you if you were going to become an astronaut or a ward of the state.
Apparently, Egon Spengler was right. Print IS dead. Even something as simple as the paper fortune teller is about to be replaced by the cruel march of progress with several smartphone apps that do the same thing and cost .99 cents each for the privilege of using them. You’re better off losing more money to a fortune-teller who insists that giving her more and more money will ensure your spiritual safety because you’ll eventually lose so much that you’ll learn a valuable lesson about human nature much quicker.
7. Getting diapered
We’re not trying to judge another person’s sexual preference but…it’s probably going to sound that way. It’s like when someone you like makes something your taste buds don’t agree with and you’re unable to control the face you’re going to make that looks like your mouth is trying to turn your head inside out.
Also, the fact that we as an adult and even a species don’t have to wear diapers is a sign that we’re ahead of the bell curve in the crazy biathlon called life. That fact doesn’t occur to the diaper lovers who actually love getting dressed up as giant babies and paying a woman with an unused liberal arts degree to be their pretend mothers. This fetish is so lucrative that there are businesses that actually make adult-sized, baby-styled diapers solely for this form of sexual gratification. That’s why we also have Febreze.
8. Playing “It”
Just about every adult knows how to take something too far but that’s usually discovered when they’re enjoying more adult activities such as rampant sexual addiction, drugs and/or drinking and overeating. It’s seemingly impossible to get addicted to something like “Leap Frog” or “Freeze Tag” as an adult unless there’s a strip club that offer such service.
Four guys with more money than sense, however, created their own unusual high: playing “It.” According to a feature in the Wall Street Journal, they’ve been sneaking up and tagging each other since they were in college together more than 20 years ago and as they got older and moved to different parts of the country, they also expanded the playing field. Twenty-three years later, they are still playing the game even though they live in different time zones. They buy plane tickets and stay in hotels just so they can hunt and stalk each other like gazelles and make them “It” and force them to tag someone else. One guy even hid in the trunk of a friend’s car and sprung out when he opened it causing his wife to fall and tear a ligament in her leg. It’s a shame none of them work near open shark tanks or a morgue because it would gradually make the story infinitely funnier.
9. Rock, Paper, Scissors
No game is more precocious or healthy to a child’s development than one that springs from their imagination. At least that’s what parents tell themselves when they spend $50 on a toy or game and the little bastard spends most of their time playing with the shipping box.
Even something as simple as “Rock, Paper, Scissors” can keep them entertained for hours on end. Adults must have lower attention spans because someone actually created a “Rock, Paper Scissors” card game that uses the same exact rules and principles as the hand game but in card form. There are even leagues that compete in city-wide tournaments that require an entry fee. That’s wrong unless the money is going to some kind of charity dedicated to finding a carpal tunnel syndrome cure.