Class Action Park is a totes awesome doco on Netflix about a decidedly '80s.amusement park that used faked insurance to get away with amusements that were a cascade of injury and death in potentate whose survival was a rite of passage for kids in the tri-state area.
One former staffer---most of the rides were overseen by 14-17-year-olds---said that the '80s childhood was the last of the latchkey kids where wandering off on your own for most of the day was normal as was a visit to an abandoned mental hospital to smash fixtures. The sort of free-range mischief you could get up to because your disinterested parents didn't really give a fuck about where you were or what you were up to as long as you came back for dinner.
He then noted that a lot of that generation are in therapy (like me).
For instance, fire. On fire night, when you'd have a bonfire on a cold winter's night with potatoes in foil in the embers that would always be burnt and ash coated when butter evaporated to mist over the mouth lava innards that you'd gamely still risk eating--you got to play with fire. Like a long stick of bamboo you could jam from the edge then weave the burning tip around like it was an ET finger.
Sometimes you'd have sparklers and wave them about to score the with initials or swears in cursive that lasted a hint in afterglow across the fire-lit night.
Then the in therapy stuff---and in this case in front of everyone---you'd enwrap plastic bread bags 'round your bamboo, set fire to the bag then melt in fat drips the plastic ruin onto bare thigh skin them peel the waxy slick from your leg now partly singed from the slag.
It's bonkers the stuff we did back then, the risks you took in an era of no mobiles or internet. Playing on building sites on the weekend when the builders were away, drinking the dregs of their backwash from the thick glass bottles of coke that littered the ground or crawling under cracked floor slabs of a ruined house lost to time that was across the road from your house on the outskirts of town..
I nearly died---and was wounded---a bunch of times but that was considered acceptable risk in an era of lackadaisical parenting.
It was what it was and I survived; but through luck more than anything else.
The '80s childhood; thirty years on and we're still paying the piper.