Christmas Shootout: Brothers Armed

Mery Christmas Nerf DartsI have a big, extended, awesome, hard to keep track of family. It’s been that way for 20 years, and it hasn’t slowed down a minute. So let me break down the cast of characters in this festive fable.

Josh: That’s me.
Chris: My little brother, you may remember him from The Biggest Swing of 1988, a Story of Brothers and Baseball.
Duane: My oldest step-brother, the same age as Chris, 2 years younger than me.
Daina: My step-sister, 4 years younger than me.
Kevin: My youngest step-brother, 6 years younger than me.
Cheryl: My Mom, she’s awesome.
Don: My step-dad, he’s pretty great too.
Mallory: Chris’s girlfriend at the time and now wife.

It was Christmas, not this year, and not the one before that, but definitely sometime in the last 5 years. Our family of 7 was together to celebrate, which isn’t something that happens as much as any of us would like, including Christmas’s over the last decade.

My Parents House, Rural Port Hope, Ontario

My Parents House in Rural Port Hope, Ontario

But here we were, gathered at my parents’ house out in the country. Sitting together in the big family room above the garage with the 10 foot Christmas tree, 2 couches, multiple chairs, fireplace throwing heat via pellet stove, and the dog taking shifts getting attention from everyone and laying down in front of the fireplace.

At some point during the gift opening process Chris reached under the tree and pulled out 4 identical packages and started handing them out. 1 each to Kevin, Duane and I… and 1 for him. At his gentle insistence we all opened our gifts at the same time and revealed Nerf pistols, complete with laser sights and extra ammunition shoved into the box.

Let me take a minute to explain that we were not a house full of toy guns when we were kids. We had a ton of Lego, played sports in the yard 12 months a year, had electric race Ralphie and his Red Rider, A Christmas Storytracks set up in the living room as often as possible, and even plugged in a video game console once in a while. But not a lot of gun play. We played with pellet guns back at the farm, but not at home. I have a feeling that Ralphie would have been pretty disappointed in us.

Fast forward back to 4 adult brother sitting in the same room with brand new pistols in their hands. My mom, Don, Daina, and Mallory are all looking at us, probably not predicting what was coming next (but maybe). And that’s probably for the best, because it hadn’t happened before, and hasn’t happened since.

After quick thanks to Chris and reaches for scissors and pocket knives (thanks to Don for always having his knife handy), my brothers and I were all armed and somewhat dangerous. I don’t remembered who shot first, I don’t remember who was the first to be hit, but I do remember taking part in the greatest foam bullet gun fight of my life over what could have been 5 to 25 minutes.

As we always did, the 4 brothers broke into pairs. I don’t specifically remember, but if I had to guess, I’d say that Kevin and I had each other’s backs as we had thousands of times in the years before. Shots were fired, we were hit and complimented each other on great shots, while simultaneously mocking each other for awful misses.

Yellow Nerf Pistol with Laser SightThere was no theme music like a movie. I started to sweat, unlike a Hollywood movie star. And in the middle of the shootout my mother warned us that if she got hit (while sitting in her chair in the middle of the room) that we were all going to be in so
me kind of trouble.

When the dust finally settled we found Nerf ammo everywhere. Behind the Christmas tree, stuck to windows and the door down a flight of stairs, under couches and so on and so on.

Nobody got hurt, nobody cried, there were no grudges to hold or hard feelings. It was, without a doubt, one of the most spontaneous, outrageous, fun stunts that we’ve ever attempted in front of my mother.

To this day my Nerf pistol with the laser sight remains at the house, at the ready in case any of my brothers decides they want to start things up again.

And if they do, they better make sure they’re ready.

creator of content, manager of community, writer, tweeter, coffee drinker. sports, comics, movies, food, music & pop culture geek. Proud MoBro.

One comment on Christmas Shootout: Brothers Armed

  1. Mom says:

    Yep, I remember very well. I found Nurf ammo for weeks after that shoot out!

Comments are closed.

Christmas Shootout: Brothers Armed

Mery Christmas Nerf DartsI have a big, extended, awesome, hard to keep track of family. It’s been that way for 20 years, and it hasn’t slowed down a minute. So let me break down the cast of characters in this festive fable.

Josh: That’s me.
Chris: My little brother, you may remember him from The Biggest Swing of 1988, a Story of Brothers and Baseball.
Duane: My oldest step-brother, the same age as Chris, 2 years younger than me.
Daina: My step-sister, 4 years younger than me.
Kevin: My youngest step-brother, 6 years younger than me.
Cheryl: My Mom, she’s awesome.
Don: My step-dad, he’s pretty great too.
Mallory: Chris’s girlfriend at the time and now wife.

It was Christmas, not this year, and not the one before that, but definitely sometime in the last 5 years. Our family of 7 was together to celebrate, which isn’t something that happens as much as any of us would like, including Christmas’s over the last decade.

My Parents House, Rural Port Hope, Ontario

My Parents House in Rural Port Hope, Ontario

But here we were, gathered at my parents’ house out in the country. Sitting together in the big family room above the garage with the 10 foot Christmas tree, 2 couches, multiple chairs, fireplace throwing heat via pellet stove, and the dog taking shifts getting attention from everyone and laying down in front of the fireplace.

At some point during the gift opening process Chris reached under the tree and pulled out 4 identical packages and started handing them out. 1 each to Kevin, Duane and I… and 1 for him. At his gentle insistence we all opened our gifts at the same time and revealed Nerf pistols, complete with laser sights and extra ammunition shoved into the box.

Let me take a minute to explain that we were not a house full of toy guns when we were kids. We had a ton of Lego, played sports in the yard 12 months a year, had electric race Ralphie and his Red Rider, A Christmas Storytracks set up in the living room as often as possible, and even plugged in a video game console once in a while. But not a lot of gun play. We played with pellet guns back at the farm, but not at home. I have a feeling that Ralphie would have been pretty disappointed in us.

Fast forward back to 4 adult brother sitting in the same room with brand new pistols in their hands. My mom, Don, Daina, and Mallory are all looking at us, probably not predicting what was coming next (but maybe). And that’s probably for the best, because it hadn’t happened before, and hasn’t happened since.

After quick thanks to Chris and reaches for scissors and pocket knives (thanks to Don for always having his knife handy), my brothers and I were all armed and somewhat dangerous. I don’t remembered who shot first, I don’t remember who was the first to be hit, but I do remember taking part in the greatest foam bullet gun fight of my life over what could have been 5 to 25 minutes.

As we always did, the 4 brothers broke into pairs. I don’t specifically remember, but if I had to guess, I’d say that Kevin and I had each other’s backs as we had thousands of times in the years before. Shots were fired, we were hit and complimented each other on great shots, while simultaneously mocking each other for awful misses.

Yellow Nerf Pistol with Laser SightThere was no theme music like a movie. I started to sweat, unlike a Hollywood movie star. And in the middle of the shootout my mother warned us that if she got hit (while sitting in her chair in the middle of the room) that we were all going to be in so
me kind of trouble.

When the dust finally settled we found Nerf ammo everywhere. Behind the Christmas tree, stuck to windows and the door down a flight of stairs, under couches and so on and so on.

Nobody got hurt, nobody cried, there were no grudges to hold or hard feelings. It was, without a doubt, one of the most spontaneous, outrageous, fun stunts that we’ve ever attempted in front of my mother.

To this day my Nerf pistol with the laser sight remains at the house, at the ready in case any of my brothers decides they want to start things up again.

And if they do, they better make sure they’re ready.

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