I think it fell off
I went to Merion Elementary school, naturally for my elementary school education. I had some interesting teachers, a big fat man who claimed to have laughed a pepperoni out of his nose and got uncomfortably close to all of the girls (and later got fired for it), a man who constantly complained about his stones, and a music teacher who loved M&Ms and is in the Guinness Book of World Records for consecutively playing songs on the piano (she would even take requests and play the song without music!). A pretty important tragedy happened there (although it was three years after I left) when the plane of Pennsylvania's Senator John Heinz (and former husband of Theresa Heinz) collided with a helicopter and crashed into the fields during 1st grade recess. And I certainly had some interesting times, like when my parents dropped my sister and I off there at daycare during a hurricane, or when a couple classmates and I were playing catch with an arrow and I missed catching it with my hands and the arrow hit me in the chest. But this story is about the playground itself and one of my adventures while playing on it.
When I was in elementary school safety on the playground wasnt an issue, or at least it wasnt as big an issue as it is today. The school didnt have a swing set because it was deemed too dangerous, but it did have to large castles made from one foot by one foot by 3 foot wooden blocks, stacked so you could climb up to at least ten feet in the air. These castles, while extremely fun to play on also caused many splinters to be had, many falls to occur, and provided an excellent place for older kids to drink and have sex during the weekend. Countless empty bottles and used condoms were found by us naive elementary school children during recess.
There was also stood a vertical metal pole held up by three more metal poles that kids could try to climb, and then slip and fall off.
Wild berries and honey suckles grew on the fence, so naturally there were children always eating the berries and sucking on the flowers, usually getting stung and ending up with a belly ache.
The last piece of playground equipment, and the one central to this story, was a metal pipe balance beam that stood about 3 inches off the ground and had to other metal pipes that stood about two feet off the ground so you could balance yourself while walking along the lower one. I dont know who invented this piece of equipment, but it was an accident waiting to happen and naturally I provided that accident.
I dont know what persuaded me to attempt this trick, but I tried never the less: I thought I could crawl, on my hands and knees, across the higher metal pipes. I approached one end of the apparatus and put both of my hands on the pipes. I then moved forward a little bit and swung my legs up behind me so that I was completely supported by the metal pipes. I began to crawl forward and gained momentum as I gained assurance of my crawling skills. I got about half way when it happened.
I fell two feet.
Remember what was between the two higher bars, resting 3 inches off the ground? Do you know what is in the middle of a young boy’s body?
Yes, as I fell my penis landed right on the lower bar. It hurt. It hurt like the dickens. I slightly moaned and crawled away from the bar. The whole lower portion of my body was numb.
As I started to regain feeling the shooting pain in my pants began to amplify. It hurt so much that I thought my penis was separated from my body.
I stood up and swiftly shuffled back towards the school, not crying, but definitely tearing up. As I got to the door I asked the teacher if I could go to the bathroom. She was grading papers as she responded, but then she looked up and saw my face. Im sure she thought I crapped my pants, so she lightened up and let me through. As I continued shuffling to the bathroom I thought about how I would have to tell the nurse and then the principal about how my penis is detached because I hurt myself on the playground and how embarrassed I would be. As I opened the bathroom door I thought about how ashamed my parents would be. I went into a stall and pulled my pants down fully expecting a bloody mess and my penis just hanging on by a thread of skin
I was happily surprised that it was still a part of my body. It was then that I started to cry, partly because I was still very much in pain, but mostly because I still had a penis. I remained in the bathroom for the rest of recess, regaining my composure and waiting for the pain to go away. Needless to say I never once tried that trick again and stayed away from that balance beam for the rest of my time at Merion Elementary.