Sir: What has happened to our playgrounds? What mollycoddling milksop decided to pave them with rubbery squishiness? I took my young nephew to a city playground this afternoon hoping to toughen him up a bit. I think three and a half is the right age to start getting rid of any unfortunate effeminate characteristics a boy might have, and there’s nothing like a few lacerations to bring out a boy’s masculine side. But no matter how hard he fell down, or how many times I pushed him, we didn’t see any blood at all. When I was a boy, playgrounds were paved with concrete, with great jagged shards of broken glass embedded in it to give you some motivation not to fall down. I tremble to think of the generation of pansies we’re raising. What’s worse, when I got my nephew back home, my useless little brother wouldn’t let me smack the boy a few times with a belt buckle. It’s not like I’d really hurt him—just give him a few scars to brag about in nursery school. If we keep coddling our youngsters this way, where will our next generation of hockey hooligans come from? —Sincerely, Roland “Biff” Stew, M.Ed., Dormont.