Honestly, how did I survive childhood? I bicycled without a helmet, which, in hindsight, was moderately unwise considering the number of makeshift ramps I jumped over. (However, that one tree trunk in or front lawn was pretty sweet — I almost made a full 360.) I climbed any tree in the neighbourhood and fell down my fair share of them (to my credit, only one ambulance ride). I ate whatever foodstuff I received from trick-or-treating without pause or surcease.
But the thing that really shocks me is how much time I spent making bows and arrows.
Let me repeat that: Homemade bows and arrows.
My recipe for missile-attack bliss:
- Find a tree limb small enough for a child of 7-to-11 to bend but big enough to “shoot real far”.
- Attach a string of dubious heritage to one end of the aforementioned tree limb with an even more dubious knot. (Extra points if you use something as advanced as a “reef knot”.)
- Bend the limb by bracing one end on the ground with a Battlestar Gallactica sneaker and pulling the other end directly at your face. You’re not really trying if you don’t use your chin or teeth to assist in this process.
- Start to place string around end of limb. At this point it is customary to realise that a loop was not fashioned into the end of the string to assist in the stringing of the bow stave.
- Rather than return to step 2 to fashion a loop in the other end of the rope (as that would take TOO MUCH TIME) create a knot the end of the string in the best manner possible (considering you are holding a bent tree limb inches from your face and it’s getting really hard to hold in place considering the most muscle strength you usually need is the power to carry your box of Legos from your bedroom to the living room).
- Bonus: Tie some cool feathers or a Micronaut action figure from the top to be cool.
- Find “straight” sticks to fashion into crude arrows. Don’t fret too much — anything with a curve less than the bow itself should suffice.
- Glue/tape/tie/wedge an “arrowhead” on the end of the arrow. “Arrowhead” stands for any object of any type that can be argued to properly weight the arrow tip or, alternatively, stick into things.
- Do NOT attempt to add fletching to the arrow — this is unnecessary and will take precious time away from you shooting at stuff.
Enjoy! Your functioning and completely safe-by-the-standards-of-the-day bow and arrows are complete! You may now proceed to aim and fire it at a multitude of neighbourhood objects including, but not limited to:
- a rock!
- a tree!
- a tire!
- a tire on a car!
- a tire on a moving car!
- a balloon held by your friend!
- your friend!
- bad guys!
In the end, not a single bow-and-arrow-related injury on my watch. (Not out of trying, obviously.)