Of us who got queasy merely standing erect in...

FOR THOSE

August 06, 1992

FOR THOSE of us who got queasy merely standing erect in the pitched upper deck of Memorial Stadium to go fetch a hot dog, we can only surmise how someone could abandon their senses long enough to try the pastime known as bungee-jumping.

For the unacquainted, that is the recently-in-vogue recreational activity in which people plunge from heights with an elastic lanyard strapped around their torso or ankle. If you've spent life pondering "what must a yo-yo feel like," this activity would satisfy that need to know.

Should you drive down Coastal Highway through the beach towns this summer, you'll notice a couple of bungee jump operators outside Rehoboth Beach, Del. Continue on to Ocean City, party capital of the Mid-Atlantic resorts, and you'll find . . . no bungee jumping.

Maryland, it appears, nipped this lunacy in the bud early on. More than 60 people have asked the state about setting up a bungee jump, but after seeing Maryland's ream of regulations, only six of those entrepreneurs followed through with applications and none of them won approval. Maryland does not allow bungee jumping from mobile cranes, meaning operators would have to erect platforms. Delaware, "the permissive state," has no bungee regulations -- for now.

Maybe more amazing than the fact that anyone would feel an urge to say that they've bungeed is the cost: The Delaware jumps cost $50 to $60, even more if you want to jump from heights greater than 150 feet or want the bungee cord attached to your ankle as opposed to your chest since that is a greater injury risk.

Heck, they should work it like some Texas steakhouses where if you can possibly scarf down their entire oversized meal in a space of time, you don't pay the bill. If you're willing to jump from 200 feet with a rubber band strapped to your ankle, the fee should not only be waived, they should throw in free psychiatric counseling too.

Or, as voiced by Robert L. Stickels, the administrator for Sussex County, Del., which is trying to regulate bungee now that the cow has leaped from the hayloft: He plans to buy a huge vice, charge people a bundle to stick their heads in it, and call his venture, "Attitude Adjustment." Sounds like a hit.

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