On Monday evening, a few minutes shy of 9 p.m., police officers received a call from a playground in Fuller Park in south Minneapolis.
“FRIEND IS STUCK IN THE BABY SWING,” the incident report reads. Fortunately, it continues, “IS AWAKE AND BREATHING NORMAL.”
Officers arrived a few minutes later at the park. They were met by the caller and her friend: a woman who was wedged in one of those tiny swings with holes for the child’s legs. She just wanted to see if she could fit, got trapped, and couldn’t get herself out, according to the police report. The fire department managed to rescue her around 10 p.m.
Since it was a simple assist mission, there wasn’t a detailed report written up, but the incident provided a few minutes of fun for anyone listening to the scanner that night. A litany of comments on the South Minneapolis Crime Watch Facebook page demanded photos, sent “thoughts n prayers” to the victim, and suggested she “shouldn’t got they big ass in there.”
If it’s any consolation to the woman who got herself stuck, this sort of thing – and by that we mean this exact, literal thing – happens all the time. All you have to do is Google “adult stuck in baby swing” to find scores of examples.
Last year, a 20-year-old man in England had to wait for three hours before firefighters could use a screwdriver to jimmy him out of his baby swing. The article described him as “grateful,” “embarrassed,” and ultimately, “unharmed.”
Back in 2011, a 21-year-old Vallejo, California, man bet his friends $100 he could fit in a nearby “diaper-like” baby swing. He ended up stuck in there for nine hours until the groundskeeper heard him “screaming for help” the next morning. Firefighters tried to free him, but they ended up having to take him (and the swing) to the hospital, where he could be carefully extracted.
If we’ve learned anything from all this, it’s probably that “can” does not mean “should.” Remember that next time you think you can pull a playground stunt without Winnie the Pooh-ing yourself.