I spent Memorial day weekend watching masochists. Someone noticed that there were two towns about fifty miles apart with a rather large mountain between them - a rather large mountain that, at the topish bit, was nearly 11,000 feet higher than the ocean. And that someone also noticed that a very clever person had built a) a road and b) a train-track between the towns and said to itself, gosh! Wouldn't it be absolutely great fun to ride a road bike from one town to the other and at the same time try to do it faster than the train can? Apparently around 2500 people agree with this. I, however, drove and thus beat the whole lot of them AND the train. Still, it was a very lovely drive and there were many opportunities at either end to purchase t-shirts and wooden train whistles.
When I finished watching the masochists I discovered that Child 3 and a friend had constructed a potato gun. This is apparently a perfectly natural thing to do because when they went to the Ginormous DIY Store to purchase various bits of plastic plumbing items (and the sparker thing off a gas grill) the employee helping them out said, 'oh! You're building a potato gun! Well, here's what you really want to get...'
They then spent a happy day launching not only potatoes but an entire green-grocers worth of fruit and veg all over the semi-abandoned mall down the street. By the way, if you have plans of creating your own potato gun, Child 3 recommends you try shooting Spam. Apparently it doesn't splatter - it bounces.
A few days later we had completely run out of potatoes, lemons, limes, Spam and anything else that would, with some effort, fit down a 1 1/2" PVC pipe. Child 3 and friend began roaming the house with speculative looks in their eyes which, naturally, I found deeply disturbing. After a bit of conversation it emerged that really what they wanted was something that would fly satisfactorily and hopefully do something amusing when it landed - preferably wet and amusing. Desperate to protect the living-room nick-knacks I suggested one of Child 3's socks.
There was a brief but passionate discussion about whether or not this would constitute both a chemical and biological weapon but it was agreed that soaking the socks first would be a good idea as otherwise the socks might ignite in the barrel.
At which point I had a flash of brilliance.
'Know what it would be if they did catch fire?'
Wary pause on part of family.
'A Molotov SOCKtail!'
Yup, and then I repeated it for the lucky few who had managed to miss it the first time.
And now there's a damp, grey sock in the hedge in my front yard.