Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A dangerous toy from my past forgotten

My father wrote in this morning to remind me that he purchased a 22-caliber, single shot rifle for my brother and I to shoot back in the 1950s. This obviously was in response to the toy safety item I wrote yesterday.

OK, it was not really a toy as the headline says, but my father taught us the safe way to use a gun and we had many wonderful hours of enjoyment with it.

The use of that rifle was strictly supervised by my father, but often involved "plinking," which was the shooting of green, plastic "army" men, jeeps and tanks in remote areas of a beach or field.

How I forgot that I don't know, but I do remember we never shot "American" army men, they were usually Germans and the occasional Japanese green, plastic army men. This was still a time in the shadow of World War II so I hope that's understandable, even if politically incorrect.

Green plastic men who were decapitated or left limbless by our "plinking" were given a proper disposal.

My father also remembered that he and his brothers often played with lead toys some that ended up in mouths. Dad has lived to a ripe old age and is reasonably sane, so it does not appear he suffered from any lead poisoning.

"Plinking," I believe is the sound of a 22-caliber bullet when it is fired.


Anonymous said...

Ahhh, pellet guns, BB guns -- I've still got an original "Jarts" game in the box out in the storage shed. Nothing like throwing lawn darts with those weighted, steel-tipped points with family and friends on the Fourth of July. Thirty-five years I've had those things, and no one's ever gotten hurt.

But, alas, we had no chance, Jim. All of those things are much more unsafe than a bunch of 12-year olds sitting in the house playing video games with names like "Grand Theft Auto," "Narc," "50 Cent: Bulletproof" and "Crime Life: Gang Wars."

Hmmm. The kids have a snow day and are bored. 'Wonder if I still have that Daisy BB pistol and the moving duck-target machine down in the basement . . .

pam said...

Hi Jim - we had lots of unfit toys and lived to talk about them. How about the go-carts we'd race down Briggs, no brakes, no helmets. Or the metal jungle gyms and slides on 100 degree California summer days? Not to mention the rusty bolts holding them together.

Jeff and his brothers all received BB guns one Christmas. I'm surprised any of them have eyeballs now but they all do.

Not that I think lead in toys is a good idea.....but I'm actually more worried about the horrible video games.