When some people talk about the good old days, they paint a picture of freedom, simple pleasures, and youthful imagination. They describe a simpler time when everyone worried less and being playful came easier.
But those same good old days could also be aptly described as the horrifying, dangerous old days.
Sure, totally unregulated life activities and insane childhood maneuvers may look rosy from the hindsight of safety. Yet if we really look back at some of those childhood activities with the neighborhood crew, a ghastly picture comes into view.
We're talking sharp objects up for grabs, 40-foot drops, questionable illegal activity, and zero parental oversight.
It's a wonder the population maintained high number with all those children cheating death on a daily basis.
The Boy Who Lived
"I grew up in Kigali, Rwanda. After the 1994 genocide there were land mines all over the place."
"We used to walk to our primary school (about 1.5km). As kids we used to place soccer on the street while walking to school, so 1 day the ball fell in the bush as always, and I went for it."
"Little did i know the the stone-like thing under the ball was a notorious landmine, I got the ball and I asked the other older kid what it was."
"10 min later the entire neighborhood was on site talking about how I just cheated death. Never will i ever forget it. If i stepped on the mine that afternoon, i would n't be writing this today."
All Hazards Present and Accounted For
"Swimming in the drainage canal by my house. Barb wire, horsesh**, concrete, fertilizer runoff etc." -- Singdownthetrail
"I grew up on an air force base and back behind the school was an old pond with suspicious rainbow ripples that was surrounded by 50 gallon barrels. We called it the Devil's Claw and spent the entire summer there every year."
I looked it up recently and yep, it's a super fund site because it was the jet fuel dump." -- goffstock
Safety First...A Whistle Should Do It
"My cousins and I, from the time we were toddlers, were just sent out into the forest in the morning with nothing but whistles to 'scare the bears.'"
"One time I chased a bear."
Up and Up
"I grew up within the boundaries of Tufts University's campus, at the end of my street was a campus building that was six stories high."
"I remember climbing to the top of the fire escape, stepping over the railing onto the slate pitched roof. I held onto the dormer and made my way on top of that roof, then I would walk up to the pitch of the roof and straddle the pitch and look out on the Boston skyline."
"I was under 10 years old. Well over a hundred feet up, one slip and I was sidewalk pizza."
"I can't believe I survived being a latch key kid in the 80s"
"Previous owner of my childhood home left a bunch of random chemicals in the garage (he was into home improvement and stuff) and my siblings tool to playing 'mad scientist.'"
"Several instances of unknown gasses spreading through the garage later and we're still around." -- pandawrath617
"We used to play with chemicals in my neighbors garage. Like combine all different kinds of chemicals we could find, I would assume lawn care and car chemicals , in her garage into a hole in the cement floor."
"At least we were smart or lucky enough to keep the garage door open." -- rrt527
A Wildly Popular Death Trap
"I used to roller blade off the roof and onto the trampoline....it hurts to think about it now. I'm still shocked I never got hurt!" -- Melrob17
"My backyard was lower than my front yard, so the back deck was eight feet or so above the back yard. We would jump off onto the trampoline." -- TheVentiLebowski
"Everyone had bad ideas involving a trampoline." -- Melrob17
Never a Dull Moment
"I used to fill balloons with my dads oxygen/acetylene torch from work and throw them in bonfires. The explosions were so thunderous we'd have cops riding up and down the block. I can remember doing it one time and flaming debris burning a sand dollar sized hole in my starter jacket."
"Oh and going hunting with my friend at 13 and shooting shotguns at trees that we were standing near when one of us wasn't looking to scare each other."
Just an Innocent Breaking and Entering
"Back in the old days when folks didn't lock doors, my dumb a** used to go in my neighbors houses and wander about while they slept. Then I'd get scared and leave."
"Very dangerous as a 6 yr old young lady."
Ahead of Their Time
"I used to have free reign in the woods behind the base housing at Fort Bragg. My friends and I would ride our bikes through the woods for hours in the summer at the tender age of 7 like it wasn't a big deal."
"I'd never let my 7 year old now wander around the woods like that now-a-days."
"One day we found a vine that was dangling next to a ravine and do a Tarzan Juno across it. It was probably a good 30 foot drop to the bottom of a pit filled with jagged rock and dubious puddles of ick."
"I wasn't supposed to show my parents, but I did one day and they freaked out and cut it down."
"My friends were mad at me for like a minute until they all agreed it was indeed incredibly dangerous and for the best. Perhaps the most logical conclusion I have ever seen kids come to in my life."
"We used to dig tunnels through the hay that they stored in the barn that would be like 10 metres high in places."
"The tunnels would regularly collapse and we'd just shrug it off and dig another."
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