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Children playing on a slip n slide
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Slip 'N Slide

Source: Corbis

JUST ADD WATER

Slip 'N Slide Into Summer

Why you should care

When it’s so hot and humid outside that you can’t think straight, clear your mind by going back to the summer days of yore. 

Sometimes the summer heat is so unbearable, it makes you just want to take off your clothes and jump on a piece of yellow plastic, propelling yourself downhill with the help of a little bit of water. Who is with me?

Recently, a stunt group called Super Tramp made a giant Slip ’N Slide that ended in a 50-foot drop off of a cliff into Utah’s Lake Powell. That’s all good for thrill seekers and what-not, but personally I would settle for a small knoll in a backyard and a store-bought Slip ’N Slide for some good ol’ summertime fun.

…His son and a friend would belly flop into a stream of water down a driveway.

Oh, the lost innocence of Wham-O Slip ’N Slide commercials. It didn’t take much more than a hose and a gang of friends to create an instant summer lawn party full of smiling kids. Nowadays you’d probably have children suing Wham-O for messing up their iPads because they thought they could bring them down the slick watery sheet of plastic. Ugh, kids these days. (You’d never guess I’m still in my 20s with this attitude, I know.)

“There aren’t too many toys where you throw your body with abandon the way you do with a Slip ’N Slide,” Strong National Museum of Play curator Patricia Hogan told The New York Times about the childhood toy. “It lasts probably about a second — but what a second!”

The idea for the toy came to Robert Carrier, a boat-seating upholsterer, in the summer of 1960 when his son and his son’s friend would belly flop into a stream of water down a driveway in California. He made a watery-slide for safer play and eventually patented the idea and introduced it to toy company Wham-O, which has since sold more than 30 million Slip ’N Slides.

Sadly, if you are a teenager or an adult you should be careful as you may injure yourself while using the children’s toy. Or, you know, you could just add a massive cliff drop at the end of it to up the stakes.

Get wet! (Oh, stop it with the naughty mind. It’s in the commercial, silly. Not like that.)

Slip' N Slide 1998

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Meet The Author Lorena O'Neil

Lorena covers religion, LGBT rights and feminism. She is also unusually fascinated by Instagram dictators.

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