Maybe you saw the title of this post and knew immediately what I'm talking about. Maybe I'm the last one to find out about this outrageous game kids are playing all across the country, if not the world.
For those of you who, like me, are not yet in the loop, Space Monkeys is a choking game. And kids as young as 10 or 11 are trying it. It's called "the good kids choking game," because there are no drugs or alcohol involved.
I learned of it recently when a friend of mine told me a story about some middle school kids on the Vineyard she knew who got caught trying it in school.
Space Monkeys? I thought she was joking. Then I googled it. It already has a place in Urban Dictionary and there are numerous videos that illustrate the many different ways to do this on You Tube.
Needless to say I won't link them, but I looked at a few and they're really disturbing. Essentially, kids try a variety of different methods to temporarily cut off the oxygen, on themselves or their friends.
They briefly lose consciousness. To the nurse in me, some kids look like they're even mildly seizing. Eyes rolling, limbs twitching...a great high, huh?
I mentioned it to Daughter #2 who claimed it was a stupid fad confined to middle school kids, at least out here on Martha's Vineyard.
She knew all about it. I was floored.
Once at a party when I was 15, a tough cigarette-smoking acquaintance of mine tried to get a group of us to hyperventilate into a paper bag while we sat bent over, our heads between our knees. Then we were supposed to stand up quickly, throw our heads back, and achieve some amazing high. That is, if we didn't faint.
I breathed into the paper bag, feeling ridiculous. Then I decided to quit. It didn't look like much fun and besides, I didn't trust that this girl even knew what the hell she was talking about.
The point is, the purpose of this Space Monkeys game isn't new. But the ways of inducing loss of consciousness by choking, whether with or without rope, with or without the help of "friends," appear to be multiplying. Dangerously.
Kids have sustained permanent brain damage. Some have died. WTF?
Space Monkeys. Have you heard of it? Have your kids?