Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sign of the thymum

Damn, I'm a crufty old bastard. That, or the world is going to hell faster than I can say "Nerf". I have two small children who enjoyed throwing and kicking an old Nerf football in our backyard, just as I did thirty-odd years ago. But some evil raccoons laid waste to the football along with a large swath of our backyard recently, so I thought a new Nerf ball would make a nice holiday gift.

I jumped on Amazon expecting to find some colorful replacements for the football, but in my search for "nerf" the first nine hits were all Weapons of Mass Destruction, which make nine more such weapons than have been found in Iraq to date. Here are four of the more fearsome:

Now, I grew up in a rural area and had access to small-caliber firearms as a kid, and I understand the visceral appeal of guns, both real and play, but I'm still left wondering why people buy this crap for their kids. When I was a kid "Nerf" meant a football with which one could actually play the game of football. Today's "Vortex Challenge Nerf Football" looks more like a rocket-propelled grenade:

The Nerf basketball and hoop were also popular when I was young, and I note Hasbro is now selling the "Official 35th Anniversary NERFOOP", but this product will no doubt be superceded by the battery-sucking "Nite Jam Nerfoop" replacement very soon, even though this item seems largely unpopular in Amazon customer reviews. In any case, I'll lighten up and if anyone knows where one can get the old-style Nerf football these days, the one with the simulated laces, etc., please send me word.


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