The Nerf War

When I was a kid, one of the most anticipated events put on by the church youth group I attended was the somewhat-annual Nerf War. The group would rent out a gymnasium, we would set up cardboard forts, and many dozens of kids would wage war all evening. We’d spend the night in the gym, sleeping in our forts, have breakfast the next morning, and be picked up by our parents some time afterward. I assume there was some sort of Bible lesson or attempt at meaningful discourse, but if so I certainly don’t recall that part.

Prior to the battle being waged, there were usually some other games. One year, they decided to do that traditional outdoor game where you spin around several times and then attempt to run in a straight line. It’s always hilarious to watch kids (or adults) stumble around like drunkards as they attempt to run while dizzy.

The problem was, this game was not played outdoors.

The atmosphere at these events was highly competitive, so I was ready to not let my team down. When my turn came, I spun around the baseball bat (which they were using as a fulcrum) as though I were caught in my own personal tornado. After completing the requisite number of revolutions, I took off as fast as my chunky kid legs would take me.

As you might expect, I fell over quite quickly.

I must have been utterly disoriented, because I didn’t catch my fall at all. I fell directly onto my face. The plastic frame of my glasses snapped, creating a jagged edge which then cut my face about a half-inch from my eye.

Looking back on this event as an adult, I’m sure this was a nightmare for the organizers. The last thing you want when you’re running an event with a hundred kids in a gymnasium is a kid lying on the floor with blood gushing from a face wound.

I was rushed off to a side room where they did what they could to stem the bleeding while someone called my parents.

I don’t remember a lot of what happened post-fall, but I don’t think the cut was all that serious (face wounds tend to bleed a disproportionate amount to the actual damage done). I do remember them using a couple butterfly bandages to hold the cut closed, which I thought was cool because I’d never had a cut before that rated this special type of bandage. I still have the scar right next to my eyebrow, though it’s not extremely noticeable if you’re not looking for it.

The only real emotions I can recall are embarrassment at falling on my face in front of all the other kids and disappointment at not getting to participate in the Nerf War. I don’t remember being particularly distraught at the actual event.

I don’t think they ever played that game again at a Nerf War.

One thought on “The Nerf War

  1. Yeah; I expect that game was banned from youth group functions after that. I’m glad it didn’t leave you traumatized! What I can’t remember is what we did about your glasses.

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