Friday, June 4, 2010

The dangerousness of piñatas, and how to survive them

About a year ago, I was at a kid's birthday party where they had a pinata.  Kids love pinatas, maybe more than anything in the world.

There are two problems with pinatas. One, there's nowhere to hang them. Two, they're almost indestructible.

The birthday party seemed pretty benign. We ate cake, opened presents, and then it was time for the pinata. We looked for a while, and couldn't find a good place to hang the pinata, so I offered to hold it.  Then we looked around for a makeshift bat, and found some piece of metal somewhere.  I thought I was safe, and the kids seemed kind of responsible.

But then it quickly degenerated into absolute chaos, and after each kid had had a turn, this small little dude that I'm not sure could even talk, walked straight up to me, and whacked me in the thumb with this metal rod.

Ouch, my thumb still hurts.

Also, kids are unorganizable.  They all want to hit the pinata all at the same time.  As I was reeling in pain, trying to pretend I wasn't in pain, more kids came up and whacked the pinata dangerously close to my aching thumb.  Eventually I dropped it, and they hit the grounded pinata until the cement-encrusted orb finally cracked enough to eek the candy out.

I've seen a couple pinata demolitions since then, and they're probably one of the most dangerous events that normal people can go to.

Here are some ideas on surviving a pinata without hospitalizing anyone:
  1. Don't even think about holding the pinata with your hands.  Hang it somewhere and get away.
  2. Get a real baseball bat, these things are seriously made out of concrete.
  3. Tape off an area, on the ground as the "pinata swinging area."
  4. Only one person in the taped off area at a time
  5. You can't get the bat until you get in the taped off area
  6. If you leave the taped off area, you have to drop the bat
  7. Everybody stands in line and patiently waits their turn.
  8. Have everyone swing only once the first, the pinata might be unlike any I've ever seen, and not actually resemble concrete and break. You don't want crying kids saying, "I didn't get a turn."
  9. Birthday kid gets to swing first
  10. You can't pick up any candy in the taped off area until the pinata is fully demolished
To really enforce these rules, you'd have to have some kind of threat of revocation of privileges, such as that if you break a rule, you can't swing again, but then that's totally against the spirit of kids' birthday parties, so I'm not actually sure how you'd enforce these rules, I just know they're good rules. But, then, you're probably better at this than I am, because I don't have kids, and you probably do have them.

Also, you might want to get two pinatas, and try to break one with a bat the day before the party. Seriously, they're rock hard.

Image from ctermit purchased from istockphoto. Want me to buy your photo for my next blog instead of ctermits's?  Post a link to your purchasable portfolio on this blog. I pay five bucks a picture that I use.


  1. Makes me giggle, Pinata Practice is quite similar to a Bad Break-Up! Ha Ha Great Post!

    Yours Truly

  2. Probably especially the part of, "If you leave the taped off area, you have to drop the bat." Thanks Yours Truly!

  3. Where do you find these indestructible pinatas?? I always managed to get the weak ones and hardly ever got a turn before someone managed to whack the head off.

  4. Walmart, where do you get the weak ones?

  5. I knew there was a bigger reason I didn't like pin-YA-tahs. Too many rules

  6. No more rules than a minor league game of baseball, but much more risky.


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