—- is to 12″ as ———– is to 12′

So, the Boy really, really, really wanted a trampoline for his birthday next month. The one we had got all bent and wobbly after a big windstorm earlier this year. Plus, it was a hand-me-down, so the pads and enclosures and stuff needed to be replaced anyway. It seemed like it would be easier to buy and build a new one, rather than try to retrofit and repair the old one.

After much research, I decided on a 12′ trampoline with a very, very tall net enclosure. You know the one thing my research didn’t tell me? How FREAKING BIG twelve feet is. Holy. Mother. of. God! (I blame men. If I hadn’t spent 20 some odd years hearing that this: —————- was 12 inches, I might be able to calculate size. I’m just saying.)

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day. And despite feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck, I thought: “You know what would be fun today? A trampoline! I’ll build the Boy’s trampoline.” I am apparently delusional from the flu shot or manic from the pain meds.

I spent 30 minutes trying to figure out where it should go. My house, you see, being built on a slope…a non-condusive trampoline position, doncha know. Of course, the only two places it could go are: 1.) where his two story playhouse is, and 2.) where his 300 pound sailboat sandbox (remember my last “oh how hard can it be?” project?). Sigh.

So…sandbox moved. Tools gathered. Box opened. Coffee at hand. Instructions read. Then read again. Then, put in a circle, sprinkled with magic sand and prayed at, because the instructions made no goddamn sense and prayer seemed my only hope.

I start laying out all the pieces. I put the whole circle together, having had to move it only 4 times because it just kept getting bigger. (Seriously, 12 feet…freaking huge.) I put the legs on. The I realize that I did the whole thing upside down. Bugger. Take it apart, flip it, put it back together. Now, I notice that many of these poles have places where it looks like screws *should* go. But there’s nothing in the instructions about screwing it together, and no bag with the right number or size of screws. So, I said “OK, that’s weird…but fine, we’ll follow the directions step by step.”

We put the bouncy thing on, and the 72 springs, and the padding over the springs. Still…no instructions for screwing the legs together. And it comes time to put these huge steel pipes on the sides to hold the enclosure…and I said; “Yeah…so…that’s just not safe without the legs being anchored. It’s just not. I’m gonna call the customer service number, this can’t be right.”

As it turns out, the instructions were wrong. You were supposed to screw the legs together *before* you put the circle together. See…this is one of those steps that you would think might just be important enough to include in the instructions. Sort of a “Oh, by the way…don’t spend 3 hours following the subsequent instructions UNTIL you screw the legs together.” The customer service guy said it was a new model, and he didn’t have the instructions in front of him, but he was sure it said to do that. And I, having very little tolerance, said “Really, Sparky? I tell you what, I’ll wait. You go find a copy of the instruction manual.” And I made him read it out loud. And lo and behold…there the instructions weren’t.

*eye roll*

Anyway…what started as a “How hard could this be?” project, once again turns into a “What the hell was I thinking?” project. But, and this is the important but, The Trampoline is finished. Whoo! The Boy was so very, very happy when we were done and he got to bounce. And maybe now he’ll stop jumping from high points in the house…

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