Return to bouncy castle (essay)

Things to do on a [bouncy castle]

You know what it's like. You [jump] on the bouncy castle with about seven or eight other little (or big) [kids], you bounce up and down a bit, [ricochet] off some walls, maybe do a [somersault] if people move out of the way... and that's it, you're done. Well, you've got it all wrong. This is the [WRONG] way to enjoy a bouncy castle. The [RIGHT] way is to get five people you know, arrange to have [half an hour] completely free of [irritating kids], and devote some time to the question of "what can you really do with one of these things?"...

  • ([Sumo]) [Wrestling]. Two [combatants] stand in the centre and aim to [hurl] each other against the walls of the "[ring]", or possibly off the [castle] entirely. [Winner stays on]. If you have a greater interest in wrestling than I, the potential for imitating [death-defying] high-flying moves as you've seen on the [WWE] is great in such a soft, [forgiving] environment.
  • [Long jump]. Starting outside the castle, run and hurl yourself as far into it as possible. Aim to touch the back wall with your outstretched hand before you land.
  • [Handstands]. Done against the soft castle walls. Simplistic, but [entertaining].
  • Grabbing the walls and holding on for as long as possible before slipping off. Like those little [sticky] [lizard] things you can get and [flick] at [windows].
  • Massively [deforming] the castle. Works with walls, but particularly good when you can reach and grab an overhead "beam" of some sort, then wrap your [legs] around it and drag it down to the ground before releasing it.
  • [Snake] [race]. All participants sit with their backs to the same [interior] castle wall. With their arms folded, they have to [wriggle] themselves over to touch the opposite wall.
  • [Hand grenade]. Lob an [imaginary] grenade into the castle. Count to three, and then your friends must hurl themselves against the walls as if [blown up]. Mark your friends on the [artistic] and [technical merit] of their [explosive dismembering]s.
  • [Bodyguard]s. Either get someone to play the [VIP] or have an imaginary one, standing at the back of the castle, facing the entrance. An [assassin], standing at the entrance to the castle, [shoot]s the VIP. Everyone else plays the part of bodyguards. They must hurl themselves into the path of the [bullet] with as much [dramatic] [flair] as possible. [Bonus points] for a convincing "NOOOOOOOOOO!" and a [contorted] [final resting place].
  • [Firing range]. A [variation on the theme]. Participants bounce up and down, then [mime] being shot to pieces by [the man with the imaginary Uzi], who stands on the mats outside to castle.
  • Imitating scenes from [The Matrix] and [The Matrix Reloaded]. Probably the most entertaining one we came up with. Contains several subspecies:
    • Running around the walls like [Carrie-Ann Moss] does at the start of The Matrix. This is pretty easy to do if the walls aren't totally sheer, but made of big [fat] tubes stacked on top of each other, and if you can get plenty of grip with your feet on the [canvas]. With a smaller bouncy castle, see if you can kick off all three walls without touching the ground.
    • [Government Lobby] one-handed [cartwheel]s. Very tricky unless you have lots of space.
    • "[Dodge this]" sequence. A simple yet satisfying backward [pancake] [splat]. Major bonus points for emulating the appalling [continuity error] that was in the movie.
    • [Crazy] [uber]- [slow-motion]- [dive]- through- [skyscraper]- window- followed- by- [mid-air]- twist- and- shoulder- forward- crash- into- mat- while- firing- back- up- at- [agent]. From the start of Reloaded. Do your best. This was my personal favourite.

[Imagination] is important here; the possibilities are endless and here we have [only scratched the surface]. But imagination is not as important as making sure that all users of the castle are working together. [Anarchic] messing about does not work here, but a coordinated effort can be immensely enjoyable!