We used to build swings as kids, as everyone does. This particular swing was high up in the branches of a huge oak tree, which was itself high up the side of a steep hill. So, when you were at the highest point of the swing, you were probably 50 feet in the air. Anyway, being kids, and not structural engineers, we didn't bother with fancy stuff like proper knots, or questioning where this tatty old rope came from, that sort of thing, and the 'handle' such as it was, was a sturdy looking branch which we found on the floor.
I say it "looked" sturdy. What happened next was this: 'Lanky' took a massive run up, a soared majestically up to the woodland canopy. There was the usual brief pause at the top, Lanky hanging on for dear life against the centrifugal force that was trying to fling him across the nearby river (you definitely don't want to let go at this point), then the return to earth began. Time slowed to a crawl as Lanky plummeted, not in the usual gentle arc back toward the hill, but straight down like a skydiver. Without a parachute. We could clearly see the look on his face change from childish glee :P , to gentle confusion (as he looked from one piece of branch to the other)
, to a kind of resignation
, then to abject fear
as he realised what was fast approaching.
There was path, built by the local rangers, directly beneath Lanky. Well, this path was bordered with smallish logs (still is; still makes me wince), and Lanky was still vainly clutching a piece of branch in each hand. At last his journey came to a halt - forearms first, right across one of the aforementioned logs. Of course, we were worried for our friend - that was seriously scary **** - so when he finally forced his way up onto his knees, relief overcame us all, and we rolled around, screaming with laughter. Lanky started crying; it was then we noticed his hands, dangling limply in fronf of him. Sure enough, he'd shattered both arms - radius and ulna - and didn't think it was "****in' funny, you bastards!"
Anyway, the funny thing is, some considerable weeks later, the day after he finally had the plastercasts removed, was Lanky's 15th birthday. Well, there's a tradition in British playgrounds, known as "the bumps", whereby the birthday boy is thrown up into the air by a gang of "mates", one "bump" for every year. Needless to say, they dropped him on his elbows, one of which was duly broken.
Some guys have all the luck.