The Trampoline

In 5th grade my neighbor's parents bought him a trampoline. The day after they assembled it in their backyard it became the neighborhood trampoline. Kids would line up in the front yard before the parents even woke up, just waiting for the kids to come out so they could take turns jumping. Then we found out about double-bouncing and began launching each other to new heights. A few days later one of us crashed off the side, then another kid ended up in a back brace. This was the early 90s, so the parents were familiar with liability. They found out that if their insurance company learned of their trampoline they would be dropped from coverage (of that's what they told us). Instead of merely taking the trampoline away, they embarked on a quest to catch the neighborhood kids misusing it. The family would leave to go somewhere and tell all of us they'd be gone the whole day and that we were forbidden to use the trampoline in their absence. Then they'd come back 15 minutes later with ice cream to see if we were jumping on it. Then the parents started making rules like no double jumping, no more than one person at a time, and we'd see them standing in the kitchen window waiting for us to break a rule. Then one day they gave up trying to entrap us and just took it down. Out of spite, we continued to hangout in their yard for a week.

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