In the days after Christmas there will always be the inevitable smashing, crashing and losing of the presents that were supposed to be cherished and last until at least the new year.
It is disappointing when it is your own remote-controlled helicopter that has flown into power lines, at the request of your own poorly-controlled thumbs. But, I am realising, it is a decidedly different affair when you send somebody else’s gift to an early grave.
This issue came to light today when my boyfriend’s Nerf gun came into my possession. I had thoughtfully gifted this weapon of mass stinging and Christmas upheaval because it spices up the ham and salad affair. Water pistols are another favourite present, especially for a sweltering day when only a good water spirt will cool my mother down.
The first issue with the blessed Nerf gun came shortly before the crumpled wrapping paper ended up in a large grey bag. There were no batteries included and who had four spare C batteries lying around – no one. So we were spared the lively sting of the new dart pistol on the day of Christ’s birth.
On Boxing day my dad found a set of Cs in the car and the war was on.
Once the battery debacle was solved we were all free to turn ourselves into walking targets. All was going to plan. But then of course we headed down to the fishing hole and the Nerf gun barely left the car, such was the enthusiasm for wetting a line, and for the contents of the esky.
The gun had not been broken in, until today. Back at the ranch I received a few choice darts to the face until I pulled the old I-bought-it-so-don’t-hurt-me-with-it line. The sucker put the gun down and I picked it up, snuck around with the stealth skills of an arthritic dog and shot Ben square in the knees. I continued aiming for his head and hit his elbow, foot, stomach and the other 12 darts hit the couch. By this stage I was more pleased with my gift than a priest is with a lengthy sermon and prepared to sneak up again. This is when the latest drama unfolded – I’d lost half of the bloody bullets. They’re not under the couch or lolling about on the floor. And guess who’s in trouble now. Yep, I got the old you-gave-me-the-present-and-then-lost-it line.
Now it feels like Christmas.