So you know what’s a great activity that will get you some fresh air and keep you from screaming at the state of the world some? Kite-flying! Why not try that? You’ve had that kite you got … sometime in the past quarter-century … that you’ve brought through four moves, one across-country. Why not use that? The answer is because you can’t find it but you know you still have it. It is in the second bedroom, behind the bookshelf somehow.
That’s all right. You can get a new kite. If it’s been a while you may be surprised. You remember the classic old diamond kite, the kind Charlie Brown flew? That you could draw with six straight lines, plus one wiggly line for the tail, and a bit of string? That’s out of date. You can fly it, but is it worth the risk? These are hard enough times. You don’t need everyone thinking you’re flying kites ironically. Modern kites are much harder to draw, though, and nobody will blame you if you get one pre-drawn for you by the kite store. If you don’t know where the kite store is, go to the traffic light by the highway off-ramp and ask stopped cars. These are strange times. Anything might work.
There are more than three rules of kite safety. But many of them are common sense, so they can be written down as more than eight rules.
Be aware of your surroundings. Especially watch for terraces, dropoffs, ha-has, ponds, fences, or the Old North Creek that you might run into while running. You might be surprised how many kite-flyers get injured each year by running into stuff. I probably would be. Like, if it’s one? That would be surprisingly low, just from how many kites there are. 483 million? That would be surprisingly high, considering how much of the sky is not blotted out with kites. Ten thousand? That would surprise me. One thousand? That’s not so surprising if we count as “injured”, like, someone stomped their foot into a plastic cooler and it’s sore for ten minutes. What was your answer? Let’s compare. If you have no surroundings please ask your area library if they loan any out.
Do not fly during lightning storms. Only fly your kite during meteor storms and time storms.
Be careful flying near people. A hard-core adrenaline-driven power kite can reach speeds of up to 480 miles per hour, in a steep dive and while trying to catch prey. If this hits someone it’ll do them quite some harm. There’s not only the injury or the emergency room visit. It’s how nobody at the emergency room will take them seriously. “I’m very sorry you got hit by a kite,” the admitting nurse will say, “but you have to wait behind this fellow who swallowed a third bowling ball trying to get the first two out”. Even when they do get care, their whole recovery time will pass without their getting a single non-sarcastic word of sympathy. This will give the person your kite injured a tort against you. And then you’ll be unable to resist punning that it’s actually a torte, and that you’d rather have a cheese danish. This will let you all have a merry laugh at the situation. When they get out of the hospital they’ll run you over with a space shuttle. The lesson is before flying a kite to ask everyone around you if they or a friend of theirs owns a space shuttle.
Don’t fly your kite near power lines, no matter how good the otherwise open field looks. If you must, call the power company first and ask them to move the power lines away for you. They’ll be happy to, since it gives them something to do.
Don’t use your kite to scare animals however much they deserve it.
There are special rules involved in flying kites near or at an airport, and they count double for flying a kite from inside a plane. Be courteous and look them up ahead of time. Yes, you could just take out your kite in Economy Plus and trust the flight attendants to explain the rules to you. But they’re quite busy and don’t need to deal with your nonsense.
Have fun, but only in reasonable amounts, so that you leave some for others.