Totally Quotable Arlo: Fighting Evil with Splinters edition


We’ve spent a good deal of time this past year attempting to steer Arlo away from guns. We haven’t been terribly successful, in that he still runs around pretending to shoot things, but, if you ask him what he’s doing, he’ll usually explain to you that the guns he’s pretending to shoot don’t actually fire bullets, but other things that do considerably less harm… Yesterday morning, when he was standing at the end of my bed making gunfire sounds, I woke up and asked him what it was doing, and he told me that he’d created a gun that shoots sticks. The idea, he told me, was to give bad guys splinters. I found the idea so innocent and beautiful in the context of what we’ve been living through lately, that I rolled over, took a photo, and wrote down his quote so that I wouldn’t forget it. “How cool would it be,” I thought, “if that was the worst thing that we could think of to do to one another?” Then I went back to bed.

[And I know that “beautiful” is probably the wrong word. This gun of his was still intended to do physical damage. It’s not like he’d designed a weapon that projected something truly lovely with the intention of stopping evil doers in their tracks, like flower blossoms, or the smell of rain on a hot summer day. Still, though, compared to armor piercing bullets, I think it’s a step in the right direction.]

Speaking of Arlo’s ability to devise new weapons, did I ever tell you about the helicopter that he’d built with a hidden alligator compartment? The idea, he told me, was that you’d fly over “bad guys” and drop alligators on them.

[If you’ve got a few extra minutes, check out our Totally Quotable Arlo archive.]

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  1. alan2102
    Posted July 18, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    “We’ve spent a good deal of time this past year attempting to steer Arlo away from guns. We haven’t been terribly successful, in that he still runs around pretending to shoot things”

    Boys and men LOVE their guns, and will never give them up. It’s a sexual thing, a testosterone thing, a power thing, and not necessarily bad if there are appropriate civic outlets for it. Boys and men need to have safe outlets for their gun fetish: hunting, shooting ranges, organized gun-bearing and militia exercises. Like in Switzerland, where shooting is the national sport, almost all young men are required to be in the national militia where they receive extensive firearms training, and many of them keep fully automatic weapons (machine guns) at home as long as they are in the national militia. That is: nationally organized and controlled; part of the civic fabric; SAFE. That would be as opposed to the free-wheeling, hyper-individualistic, cowboy ethos in the U.S.

  2. YY
    Posted July 18, 2016 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Splinter guns are real, at least in the World of Warcraft. Is it possible that Arlo is playing?

    “This weapon uses steam pressure to fire hundreds of thorn-sized wooden darts in a single shot. Ammunition for the splinter gun can be created by feeding small pieces of wood into a grinder built into its stock. Many of those who wield splinter guns can be recognized by the “tinder pouches” hanging from their belts.”

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