Friday, February 18, 2011

My Brush With Puffy Foam Death

My sons have been participating in some epic Nerf gun combat as of late. Most of these have occurred with their uncle while I am at work. They each select two guns, equip them with their favorite rail attachments and load up their magazines to capacity. They have even taking to staging these battles after dark with the early sunsets and using the night vision scope my eldest son received for his birthday. Their tactical prowess is impressive. One acts as cover, while the other stealthily moves from room to room through the house, scope to his eye, in an attempt to discover an errant sock or elbow sticking out from behind the place where their uncle has taken cover before he opens fire.

For the past few weeks, my sons have been regaling me with war stories. They even reenact the one in a million shots in slow motion, including low pitch grunt as foam impacts skin and being thrown to the ground from the force of the dart. I listen and I laugh and tell them how awesome that sounds. Needless to say, I wanted in. And beneath my patronizing response to their stories lay a jealousy and a longing to have a shot at Nerf glory for myself.

So, when they forced me (I mean really twisted my arm) to promise that I would engage in conflict with them on Thursday night, I jumped at the opportunity. It was just the chance I was looking for to display my extensive training and test in real time some of the techniques I’ve learned through the many hours I have logged playing Call of Duty.

After my boys selected their weapons, I chose form the still abundant selection of remaining guns. I was happy going lightweight weaponry and stocking up on ammo. I retreated to my headquarters in the basement, armed with the Recon CS-6 with red dot site and 30-dart drum magazine and the Alpha Trooper CS-18 with ACOG scope and included 18-dart drum magazine. Just in case, I tucked an extra 18-dart extended clip into my back pocket. Then, in the darkness, I waited, concealed behind couch cushions.

One of my weapons from

I left my red dot site activated, knowing it would give away my location, but for a greater purpose. They found me easily in the dark basement, as I planned and retreated after I spent only a few foam rounds to scare them off. Now, I advanced up the stairs, set the red dot site in the kitchen and proceeded to hide in the dining room, behind the table. When my sons advanced past me and focused on the red dot site in the kitchen, I figured I had the drop on them. Triumphantly, I leapt up from behind the table and began to fire at their backs.

This is when it went south. I severely underestimated the firepower that they had decided to tote around. My six-year-old, without even a sound of surprise, spun around and aimed his Longstrike CS-6 sniper rifle at what couldn’t have been more than a shadowy outline with the steely reserve of a hardened veteran. The very first round he fired hit me squarely in the left eye.

The death of me from

My reaction was to run into the other room and shield my face. My sons met this with relentless pursuit and a barrage of darts to my back and butt that seemed to extend well beyond their magazine capacity. When I made the tactical error of curling up in a ball on the living room couch, my six-year-old’s seemingly harmless decision to sheath a sword on the back of his vest become more clearly ruthless. It wasn’t until after they had spent all of their ammo that they fell back to their headquarters in their bedroom where they could access the ammo box. As they went, they kept their muzzles pointed at me and retreated backwards up the stairs.

Meanwhile, I unfolded from my defensive position, wiped away my tears (shed due both to blunt trauma to the eye and instinctive fear) and dragged myself back down to the basement to lick my wounds. From that point, on, I resolved not to underestimate my sons’ bloodlust. I would need to position myself somewhere I had an avenue of escape to the bathroom where I could run in and lock the door without fear of them seeing their father cry.

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