05.13.09 | 13 Comments

First there was a rubber band gun, a ton of fun. The rubber band would smack the back of my grandfather’s leg and there was just something funny about that.

When I  turned seven, my grandfather trumped that toy with a new slingshot and turned me loose in the backyard one summer day. I spent that first afternoon armed with a stockpile of acorns at my feet under the oak tree trying to peg squirrels. Of course, there is no good reason to bump a squirrel off balance. It seemed like harmless fun at the time. Making squirrels jump was about as silly as whacking my papaw’s leg with a rubber band.


Chas and Ford took the slingshots like ducks to water from the get go, chucking Legos across the room toward a box on the other side.


It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make a slingshot; I picked up a handful of these from a Mexican spice shop. They’re handmade from walnut stock. Each one has rubber tubing and a leather sling; it’s the real deal. They’re sold in different sizes for all different grips, big and small. I think they even make them for toddlers, because someone down in Mexico once sat at his workbench and thought to himself,
“Why the hell not?!”


I gave the boys a day with these slingshots and they quickly began sleuthing the backyard for slingshot-worthy sticks: healthy greenwood, stout and forked. By all means take the slingshots outside to their true realm; don’t try playing with them indoors. But if you do, make sure you’re ready for flying Legos.

By Ford’s suggestion: Stack tin cans atop the fence for target practice. Or place an empty milk jug atop the recycling can. BANG!


Adds Ford, “Oh yeah, you shouldn’t shoot when there are people in your way. Unless you shoot marshmellows at them or something! That would be so cool!”


In related news (and still kind of silly):
students suspended for making slingshots

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