Jeremy Peyton

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Nerf World: Why I Kicked Myself in the Jewels

Posted By on February 28, 2013 in Family | 2 comments

Nerf World: Why I Kicked Myself in the Jewels


My son, Isaac, left his new plasma globe in a walkway while he and his four-year-old brother, Asher, were wrestling.  I gave him a brief, fatherly chat on strategies for protecting his beloved lightning ball.  He shrugged.

“Dude, it wouldn’t take much to crack that thing open,” I explained. “It’s just made of thin glass.”

“No it’s not, Dad.” He knocked on it. “It’s plastic.  It’s not fragile.”

Asher broke in to end the debate. He calmly walked to his brother’s globe and firmly tapped on it with his small wooden hammer. Nobody breathed. At first.

Isaac’s voice rose like an air raid siren. He looked up at me, his face pale with shock—tears spilling onto his cheeks.

Asher was equally astonished at the permanent result of his actions.  “You were right, Dad,” he said, hoping to form an alliance that would protect him from his brother’s wrath.  “It is made of glass.”

As the three of us boys mourned the globe, the girls in the next room choked back laughter.  They had been here before. They knew “Nerf World.”

Nerf World is a place boys of all ages live from time to time.  It’s a blend of Looney Tunes and video games.  There are no permanent consequences and nobody ever gets really hurt.

For example, I once put bread on my fishing hook at the family picnic, just wanting to catch and pet a pretty duck.  Keeping the duck still while my dad removed the hook from its bill was not at all what I had in mind.  Nerf World.

I lit fireworks in the dry desert beside our Tucson home.  Nerf World.

My buddy and I strung two violently bitter cats to opposite ends of the same leash.  Nerf World.

If I hadn’t mentioned it in passing to my father, my friends and I would have gone inner tubing down swift, muddy waters during flash flood season.  Nerf World.

And Nerf World isn’t just for boys. When I was 28, I wondered if God had engineered man in such a way that he couldn’t rack himself.  I hopped across the floor, flailing my lanky legs around to see if it could be done.

Heel hit man parts. I curled up like a poked sea anemone. Once the initial wave of pain passed, I caught my breath and pondered this design flaw.  I thought God would have built in a self-preservation fail-safe.

Turns out, He did. It’s called a brain.

If you’re around boys, you will eventually be in a situation when you ask, “What on earth were you thinking?”  If they look baffled, it’s probably because they were in Nerf World which is kryptonite for a boy’s brain. And those puzzled, grimacing man-boys may be just as confused as you are.

Have mercy.  Let them live to blog about it later.


  1. PaPa Nerf March 2, 2013

    Okay, so which of us was living in Nerf World, me or my dad, Jeremy’s grandfather? As a fourth-grade wannabe hunter, I got my first Daisy pump action BB gun. I was pumped. So was my dad. He held the rifle up, pumped it, aimed it at the TV and – to my utter astonishment – fired it. The popping sound of the rifle was followed by complete silence, except for the inhaling of air into my lungs. But nothing happened to the TV! Amazing!

    After mom and dad left the apartment I said to my three brothers, “Watch this!” Pumped. Aimed at the TV. And fired. The popping sound of the Daisey pump action BB gun was followed by the crackling sound of shattering glass in the front of the TV tube (very old school TV).

    The crackling went on for hours. At least it seemed so, as I sat stunned, frozen to the sofa, staring at little bits of glass falling out of the TV. “I’m dead,” I thought to myself.

    “Dad’s going to kill you!” my older brother confirmed out loud.

    “Look what Jerry did!” was my younger brother’s greeting to my returning parents.

    One look from dad and I knew I was dead. But one look from mom to dad and I knew I was saved. “DM,” she said in a warning tone, “You’re the one who put him up to this.” Amazingly, I didn’t even get spanked, just one month of doing all the chores.

    Mom knew NerfWorld when she saw it, and she knew that the biggest Nerfs are the man-boys. After all, how was a fifth grader supposed to know that if you pump a BB gun while holding the barrel up no BB would drop into the chamber? NerfWorld strikes again. And again. And again.

    My retirement age wife is wondering if NerfWorld is ever going to end. No, but it will probably change names, like “Brain Fart”, my favorite. Seriously, “Nerf” is the wrong word. Nerfs are harmless, while brain farts can lead to car wrecks, drownings, and commuter trains jumping up off the tracks because some six grader wanted to see how big a rock could be crushed by the train. But that’s another NerfWorld story.

    • JeremyPeyton March 5, 2013

      You’ve got buckets of Nerf World stories! What’s fun is getting together and telling them to the grand-kids. That was one of the biggest highlights of being together in San Diego for Elise and Isaac. More stories, more stories! Can’t wait to hear theirs in twenty years.

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