This one’s for killing …


A belated merry Christmas and happy new year to all.

Did you lavish your loved ones in mountains of expensive gifts? Did you indulge your children in all their materialistic desires? Did you try to pass on your own feelings of nostalgia and belonging by taking them to see the new Star Wars film? Course you did! Me too – was this wise?

My son wanted a gun for his Boxing Day birthday – ah! Liberal parent alert! My children will never have guns! No weapons of war! No mechanisms of murder! Never! But then, as we walked around Smyths, we came to the Nerf section …

Now, Nerfs aren’t really guns, are they? I mean, they’re gun SHAPED and they shoot bullet SHAPED, well, bullets. But they’re not real bullets. They’re sponge. And they don’t hurt when they hit you, honest! More like a tickle than any real pain. That’s it – they’re projectile tickling machines!

So, er,  I bought them (that’s right, “them“. You can’t have fun with just one gun, right?) for myself as much as for him. I admit it. I got caught up in the rush. In my day, we only had sticks. Well, I exaggerate – we had guns with flints in them. If you were lucky, they would still shoot sparks out the front by February. Most likely banned now. But Nerf guns; they’re something else. I’ve shed the January Blues by chasing my boys around, shooting at them, making “choo! choo!” blaster sounds, and telling them, in the deepest voice I can muster, that I am, indeed, their father.

Any regrets? Well, if I’m honest, I’ve noticed my boys have been a bit more … violent, recently. Maybe it’s my imagination but I’m reminded of the scene in Terminator 2 when Sarah Connor is watching the young boys playing with their toy guns and suspects that the human race don’t “make it” after all. It’s also an uncomfortably odd feeling to look down the barrel of a toy gun at the light of your life and pull the trigger. Odd, but not difficult to get used to. More worrying, my eldest has taken to sleeping with his Nerf these days and even announced, “I love my gun!” the other day. I expect they’ll be a pilgrimage to Oregon in the near future. There’s no going back now.


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