As a kid, one of the things I’d look forward to during warmer weather was flying kites with my dad.
I remember he’d bought this one kite, which I think was supposed to be shared between my younger brother and me.
I can picture it in my mind: black, plastic, triangular-shaped – “delta”, I think the design’s called – with two, bloodshot eyes, and a little ragged “tail”.
We’d go to the park nearby and he’d show us how to get it up in the air, providing there was enough of a breeze.
When there was a good wind, man, how high that thing could go! It would dart and swoop. And when it was time to go home, he’d reel it in and off we’d go.
It’s memories like these that sadden me as I say the following:
I now HATE kites. Okay, maybe “hate” is a strong word. But they irritate me.
It’s not as if they’re bigger and more ostentatious these days. Or that they make annoying sounds or give off crazy emissions.
It’s almost as if there are TOO MANY kites. Kite pollution, if you will.
The source of my irritation:
There’s a huge park close to my parents’ house. On warmer, windier days like the ones we’ve had lately, people and their kids are over there flying their kites by the dozens.
Kites of all colours, shapes and sizes … that seem to hang suspended in the air … that list and dip and dive … that soar to incredible heights …
And then end up dangling into – or over – our backyard.
Yes, I sound like a miserable, Grinchy neighbour. I should have a heart and think of the children.
I completely agree. But here’s the problem:
‘Cause of the great heights, these kites drift over, and the string gets caught and all knotted around something – the edge of a roof or the top of a tree.
Most of the time, the kites are too high to retrieve, so they’re left twisting in the elements, to “decompose” for the rest of the year.
Sometimes you can reach the string. But it’s so taut, it can cut your fingers as you try to pull it down.
Even if you successfully get the kites down, you can’t even return them to their rightful owners, because the friggin’ things flew over from almost a kilometre away.
Worse still, there’s kite string EVERYWHERE. Which means some animal will probably end up choking on it.
The picture above was taken last Sunday, when the weather conditions were prime for kite-flying. And bingo – not one but TWO kites dangling in our backyard.
So THAT’s what I did when I got my hands on them. And they weren’t the mass-manufactured types, either. Someone’s dad or grandfather probably helped make these.
Do you know how much that SUCKED to toss them out?
Oh, but yes. I, the Kite-Killer, feel pain for these innocent wind-vehicles of joy. But hey. This property ain’t big enough for the three of us.
I suppose there’s no real “solution” to this problem.
So for now, I will have to continue crushing little kids’ summer hobbies with a pair of scissors and the recycling bin, until flying season is over …
And the kites that survive are stored away.