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.]