Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Nerf blog.

We did a number of rides, mostly kiddie-sized, at Six Flags last week, but the hands-down favorite thing among all of us who can talk -- and Ann seemed to get quite a kick out of it too -- was the Loony Tunes Lodge, part of “Loony Tunes National Park.” At some point in its history, Six Flags must have decided that it, too, need cartoon characters, and it struck a deal with Warner Bros. Bugs, Daffy, Tweety, Sylvester, Marvin the Martian, Foghorn Leghorn, et al., are all represented in one form or another throughout the park.

LTNP is really a place to take toddlers, because most of the rides are for them: little trains, pretend boats, and other slow and low-flying rides. Then there was the two-story Lodge. We all liked this place so much that we went back later in the afternoon, after visiting it first in the morning.

Instead of a second floor inside, it has a balcony ringing about three-quarters of the way around, accessible by two staircases, leaving most of the interior open all the way to the ceiling. All over the floor are hundreds of very light, nerf-like balls, all about the size of tennis balls, and in a variety of bright colors. Ann took immediately to these balls. It wasn’t long before the older members of the family figured out what they really were: ammunition.

Mounted along the railing of the balcony, and also mounted on the floor, were air cannons. Put the balls in, aim (the cannons swiveled), press the button, and pfuff the cannon fired. Some of the cannons were top loading, others had suction tubes to pick up balls. All of us enjoyed shooting them off. Not long after I found out how to use these cannons, I found myself in a shooting match with a couple of boys, maybe 10 years old, across on another side of the balcony. They had an advantage in that, as a grown man, I was easier to hit. But I gave it my childish best for several minutes, aiming for their heads as they popped up. Sometimes I hit my mark.

Later, after that fight was over, I took to popping people at random down on the first floor. Usually the adults didn’t even notice I was firing at them, unless I made a direct hit, but the kids were paying better attention, and I got into a few more nerf battles.


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