"It's a really serious injury, Abby. You can die from it."
My friend Tom is explaining testicular torsion. I try to stifle laughter into my drink.
OK, life-threatening injuries are never funny, except when they involve testicular torsion, which I've never heard of until tonight. As Tom launches into a detailed explanation of what the injury involves — picture tying a knot in a balloon, boys — I'm suddenly extremely thankful for being born sans balls.
There's a reason happy hour has spiraled downward into such an excruciating conversation. I've gathered the Bad Idea Friends at our unofficial headquarters, Rumours in the Gulch, for another adventure — one for which all participants have to sign a waiver.
Tonight we're heading to Sky High Sports, a veritable nirvana of trampolines. Or as their website explains, a "unique trampoline fun center" offering "360 degrees of trampoline walls." But this joint isn't just for kids; when I call ahead, the woman I speak with informs me that many adults visit Sky High for fun, and that it's also quite popular for company retreats and team-building activities.
I bet it is. Ladies, don't you want to jump up and down in front of your male colleagues? You might be able to jump your way through that glass ceiling.
As we park, I see a lot of church buses and make a mental note to watch my mouth throughout the evening. My friend Sophie (Tom's sister) walks from the other side of the lot and announces that Tom — who donned my super sparkly leggings to adhere to my requested dress code of "1980s Olympics" — just peed behind her car. I silently pray no kids are on those church buses, because I don't want Tom to get arrested and have to live the rest of his life as a registered sex offender. I also decide Tom can keep those leggings.
When we get inside, the lobby is swarming with kids, and a video is playing behind the check-in area detailing all the forbidden actions on the trampolines, and all of the subsequent possible injuries. We watch in amusement as a cartoon stick figure finds each and every possible way to mortally injure himself via trampoline. Funny stuff.
"Instant death!" My friend Melissa shrieks. "That leads to instant death!" She gesticulates toward the TV screen, which shows Mr. Stick Figure diving headfirst onto a pit of foam blocks and breaking his neck. We decide to avoid the foam pits.
Another figure flashes across the screen. We all recoil in horror, because it looks like a vagina with a broken tibia stuck in it. How the hell does that happen? "What was that?" Melissa yells. "A vagina?" The teenager behind the desk turns a bright shade of scarlet, then mumbles something about a compound fracture involving a calf muscle. Which actually sounds worse than having a broken tibia stuck in your vagina.
I'm starting to reconsider this particular adventure.
A nice young Sky High employee leads us through the warehouse-sized facility, a gigantic padded cell of trampolines arranged in a grid-like manner. Fortunately, they've put us in a private area, so the chance of double-bouncing (forbidden!) and launching small children into the stratosphere (extremely forbidden!) is slim. Each trampoline court is manned by a supervisor, which keeps people like us from engaging in those forbidden activities or incurring injuries from the padded — yet still potentially perilous — borders.
We get on the trampoline, bounce around for a few minutes, and quickly realize we need some sort of game to amuse ourselves. Tom suggests dodgeball, a game that always shows everyone's true colors. I giggle at my friends. Some are vainly attempting to hide in the corner, others fearlessly dive for the ball at every opportunity. The world is still an elementary school playground, isn't it?
Once we tire of dodgeball, we take a pizza break and flop back on the trampolines, which are as fun to lounge on as they are to jump on. At least, that's the case when you're in your 30s. This is hard.
Sophie is stretched out next to me, and in an attempt to get everyone on their feet, Tom flops down on her back.
"Ew, Tom! Ew!" Sophie screams. Did I mention that he's her brother?
"What? It's not like I squirmed around or anything," he protests. Everyone looks a little uncomfortable. Now I worry that Tom is going to get arrested for incest.
The combination of pizza and jumping — did I mention how tiring it is? — has completely sobered up this crew, and Tom is valiantly rallying the troops to race back and forth across the width of the trampoline course.
We line up on opposite sides of the trampoline and take off. The distance can't be more than 75 feet, but it feels like a half-marathon. In fact, it's actually harder than a half-marathon. I reach the other side and ricochet off the wall, bouncing back toward the finish line. I'm on Melissa's heels and I'm determined to beat her, even though my thong is wedged so far up my butt I might need a minor surgical procedure to get it out.
As we near the end, I try to launch myself past Melissa into the wall for the win, but I make a grave miscalculation and instead end up faceplanting.
Needless to say, I do not win. I peel myself off the trampoline and check for all my teeth. Fortunately, the worst injury I've sustained is a mild case of trampoline burn on my foot, the only low point in an evening of revelry at Sky High Sports.
Despite my epic fall, I'm relieved to report that I, along with my compadres, escaped without any broken bones or instant death.
Or, for that matter, testicular torsion.
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