Taking the fun out of life

The Madison County Record May 15, 2010, 5:10pm

Do you remember how much fun it was to be a kid when "danger" lurked around every corner?

Bob Cassilly remembers. He's the founder of the beloved City Museum in St. Louis, "where the imagination runs wild."

The multi-story, former shoe factory is not really a museum at all, but a fantasy playground for kids, a hallucinatory Discovery Zone with a maze of tunnels to crawl through, a spiral slide dropping three floors, and a five-story jungle gym that incorporates genuine fighter jets, a fire engine and a castle turret -- all connected by 4-foot-wide wrought iron slinkies kids can climb through.

No helmets, kneepads, or harnesses in this place. Just good, clean, less-than-absolutely-safe fun.

The City Museum is no place for the humorless or the irony deficient, and no place for wimps. In fact, if there ever was a place in our lawsuit-besotted society that seemed to be aching to go to court, this is it.

On its Facebook page, City Museum chronicles some of the two dozen mostly frivolous lawsuits it's had to defend itself against in the last five years. A new bride was injured when her bodybuilder husband slammed into her on a slide posted, "One at a time" and, "Wait until bottom is clear." Another woman hurt herself when she ran and jumped into a ball pit that cautioned, "6 and under" and, "Do not jump."

Twelve people once claimed to have been injured by a falling rock at the Museum, but a video of the incident proved otherwise.

With characteristic bravado, the Museum lists the names of the plaintiffs attorneys suing and encourages scammers to contact them: Amy Gunn of the Simon Law Firm, Jerry Crowder of Brown & Crouppen, Bill Holland of Fox Goldblatt & Singer, et al.

Cassilly has contempt for such spoilsports. "They are taking the fun out of life," he says.

We agree.

More News