If you are in your 30’s or 40’s then the word Nerf probably conjures up an image of safety. After all they came up with a ball that you could use to hit your younger (or older if you had a death wish) siblings in the face. It was marketed as an ‘indoor’ ball and barring a Brady Bunch Vase type incident you could toss that baby around all day without breaking anything.
Not long after this they came out with the Classic Nerf Football. It was soft and grippy so your preteen hands could actually throw it. The worst thing that could happen would be the dog might take a bite out of it rendering it useless or you could leave it out in the rain. They were the source of hundreds of hours of after school fun in the neighbor’s yard playing harmless touch football.
My how times have changed…Nerf is no longer associated with good clean non-violent fun. It is now a source of lethal killing games and military precision planning with the entrance of the Nerf Gun. My two boys (10 and 6) have a veritable arsenal of these things and every day in our house you run the risk of being pelted by dozens of little Nerf Darts.
Granted they’re still relatively harmless…unless you go to You Tube and find one of the many ‘how to modify your Nerf Darts’ videos. Getting hit with one causes minimal damage, but once you’re hit it’s game on. There’s a mad scramble for any available weapon and as much extra ‘ammo’ as you can find. The kids run for cover because they fear my deadly accuracy and ability to use physics to shoot around corners. Our Nerf Battles as they’re lovingly called are some of the best Father/Son interaction we have. Nerf Guns tap into that quintessential Guy Thing that involves aiming weapons at objects and hitting them with projectiles. The biggest fear is that you fall victim to the Vulcan trap by cracking the bedroom door and being assaulted by the battery operated Vulcan…
For the Techy Dad (or motivated child) there are a ton of Mod videos out there that show you how to increase the range and accuracy of your guns by taking them apart and rebuilding them as well as how to adapt the darts to cause more harm…not that I’d do that of course…those little suckers won’t know what hit them.