"Erm...don't help."

One of the things I like the most is being able to contribute to a pluralist society. We all have our likes and dislikes and we combine, ideally, to form a social mosaic that, ideally, propels civilization forward. We acknowledge differences where necessary, dialogue where possible, and cooperate where mutually beneficial.

We try, Internet, not only to not muddle things, but to have our children not muddle them as well.

So, because NOS is doing the whole athletic thing this year, we go to a certain dept. store to get miscelleaneous things. The sporting goods section is cheek-by-jowl with the toy section. So, while we're in aisle X contemplating which brand of socks will raise the lad's performance to the pinnacle of human achievement, others may be in aisle Y rummaging through board games, or Barbie dolls.

In this particular branch of this particular chain of dept. stores, the part of the toy section immediately adjacent to the part wherein we were occupied (deliberating whether carbon fiber or activated charcoal in shoelaces yields the greatest net results for the budding Olympian) happens to (and there's no getting away from this) contain toy guns. Not so much toy versions of real guns, but trigger-operated things whose purpose is to launch small foam objects in weak arcs of about 10 feet. I s'pose there very well may be toy versions of real guns elsewhere in the toy section, but these were not visible to us.


As we were engrossed in the decision-making process as to which shade of blue strikes the most fear in one's opponent, a small child of a guesstimated 8 years of age went up to one of those gun-ish looking things (a particularly shoddy looking orange one) and pressed the trigger and the apparatus in question emitted the sound of flatulent ennui. The mother of the boy turned to him and said something like: "[Child's name] put that down! We don't play with guns! Guns are bad!"

The disappointed boy puts the gunlike toy implement ("New! With PhoamPhart® Action!") back on the rack and begins to walk away. It was then NOS addressed the boy (and by extension his nearby mother) with a suggestion he thought was both soothing and helpful, saying, in as bright and cheerful a voice as his desire to be useful to one's fellows can muster:

"They have swords on aisle Z."


Frogdancer said…
That's hilarious!
blackbird said…
A minefield, the toy/gun/gun/toy world. As it were.
Joke said…
When the boys were little and other (equally little) kids would come over for play dates we had to make sure where the parents stood on the whole toy gun issue lest there be...awkwardness. (If they were anti, we quietly disappeared any offending toys while the guests were visiting.)
Caro said…
If a boy doesn't have toy guns, he will make a stick into one or point his finger at you. I am firmly convinced it is in the male DNA. But, as Blackbird said, it is a minefield.

Your son is hilarious. Wish I could have seen that lady's face.
Joke said…
My general parenting attitude has been to not make a big deal over it. And it hasn't been a big deal to my sons.

I really draw the line, however, at shooter video games which are appalling even to me.


PS Keeping in mind we're rather well-prepared to fend off a small amphibious assault force ovah heah.

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