by Amy Atkins
My 5-year-old nephew had a pinata at his birthday party tonight. Having a pinata at a kid's party is a strange practice and this one was no exception. We made sure the youngsters couldn't see, spun them until they lost their center of balance, handed them a stick, cheered them as they beat an effigy until it broke and then encouraged them to fall upon the resulting candy avalanche like a pile of defensive linemen in regardless of the surface upon which the candy had fallen or whatever injuries they might have incurred.
The kids enjoyed a rare opportunity to experience parent-approved brutality and the parents got to watch their kids flail around like clumsy drunks while the parent in charge—in this case, my brother—gave the kids a sense of false confidence. He'd let them whack the little cardboard creature once or twice and then pull it out of reach time and again. We adults laughed ourselves silly.
When my nephew delivered the fatal blow, we all cheered as though he'd won a marathon. As odd as a pinata is, it was fun for everyone involved. When the smoke cleared, I checked the wet grass where the pinata had fallen and found a Chupa Chup the kids missed. Score!