“Bouncing Off Trees,” By Chad Robert Parker

My family has lots of moments we wished we had on camera. We were constantly saying we needed something funny that happened on tape so we could send it in to America’s Funniest Home Videos. My favorite was when we had the missionaries serving in our church area over for Thanksgiving one year. Only that time we were recording everything from the boring meal time itself to the after dinner exercise.

We got some footage of bouncing each other on the trampoline but the real fun begun somewhat unexpectedly with our 35 foot rope swing. My brothers and I had become expert at jumping off stumps, wrapping around trees, raising our feet up on the side of the tree, and swinging back around toward the original launch point. We gave the missionaries a try.

“Get your feet up! Get your feet up!” We warned. Without fail, three different missionaries slammed up against the tree, wound up in between the rope and the tree, and then waited for it to uncoil and release them. The awkward position would inevitably loose their grip and send them sliding down the trunk to the ground writhing in pain.

It was definitely the kind of slapstick humor that needed to be on AFV but we never sent it in.