Violence against toys: it’s in your genes

Posted on June 13, 2011


Car with a firecracker

Violence against toys: it

Son, right now you like to push your Hot Wheels around and build and play with Lego Star Wars Models. It’s all sweet and innocent. But it won’t be that way forever.

Soon it’ll be all about crashing them. You’ll find all kinds of ways to bash them together in pretend crashes.

But that’ll get old fast. The cars never look like they’ve been in an accident; they aren’t all dented and broken like real cars would be. It just won’t be satisfying.

You’re at the top of a slippery slope. I’ve been there and my job now is to make sure you don’t follow in my footsteps. If you do, the downward slide will look like this:

Shortly after realizing that your accidents don’t look real enough, you’ll have your first experience with toy violence. It’ll be innocent enough at first: you’ll try to bang them together as hard as you can to see if you can dent them. But they just won’t dent the right way; they won’t look realistic. So you’ll pick up a rock and give the car a tap. Then a smack. Then a good hard whack. Then another. And another. It’ll feel good.

That will lead you to harder stuff.

You’ll find my hammer in the basement and it’ll dent the cars pretty well. It’ll be satisfying for a while, but soon you’ll want more and you’ll turn to the sledge hammer. Just one time, you’ll tell yourself. But when the roof fully crushes on the first hit, you’ll be beyond recovery. You’ll start smashing all your cars and taking more and more hits.

You’ll be setting up elaborate crash scenes, but then you’ll start thinking that it’s not very realistic without fire. Cars don’t just crash; they crash and burn.

So you’ll start lighting up the cars. You’ll look for anything that’s flammable and douse the cars, then torch them. It’s OK, you think, just this one time. But fifty cars, a bottle of rubbing alcohol and 3 tablespoons of cough syrup later (it turns out cough syrup isn’t flammable), you’ll be hooked.

Within a week, you’ll have smashed and burned nearly all your cars. And with no intact Hot Wheels left, you’ll turn to your models.

It’s at that point that a friend will introduce you to firecrackers. It’ll take just one afternoon to destroy all your models, several dog toys and assorted fruits and vegetables. You’ll have hit bottom.

I’m not saying it’s your destiny, but if you become me the way I’ve become my parents, this is likely your future. You’ll have to quit cold turkey when you run out of things to destroy around the house.

But by that time, you’ll have discovered girls and torturing toys will be forgotten in the pursuit of torturing yourself.