2/11/09

Kid Stuff #7: Respect the Jart


Can your mind comprehend a more deadly toy than a weighted spear that kids hurl through the air like a missile? No one ever obeyed the actual manufacturer's rules, we just flung these damn things everywhere. As Radar puts it: "You threw them. They stuck where they landed. If they happened to land in your skull, well, then you should have moved."

I guess it's a good thing that kids are so much more protected these days. No one seemed to give a shit in the 70s. For example, I don't remember ever using a seat belt for the first twelve years of my life. Regarding Jarts, we can arrive at only one of two conclusions:

1) our parents were so naive that they actually thought a Javelin Dart would be safe
2) our parents wanted us dead

After roughly 6,700 emergency-room visits and the deaths of three children between 1978 and 1988, they finally outlawed Jarts on December 19, 1988. It needed to be banned, but a part of me is sad that kids today won't have the battle scars and Jart survival stories we had. Goodbye Jart - you were an impaling arrow of death, but I loved you anyway.

16 comments:

  1. Blindfolded clowns randomly throwing around jarts: That's what the Cirque de Soleil needs.

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  2. I never had a Jart injury. I feel left out.

    I am no statistician, but I imagine 3 deaths in ten years is likely to be a low number. I wonder how many kids die from misuse of Legos?

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  3. While I do think there were certain things we played with and did back in the 70's that could be very dangerous, I think kids today are too protected. They are much softer than we were. We got to play outside. We got our knees scratched up. We got cuts and bruises on us. We got sweaty and dirty.

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  4. Wanda Sykes used to do a bit about a game they played when she was a kid called "That Didn't Hurt!"

    Kids are rubbery. I never broke a bone, but certainly gave myself opportunities :-)

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  5. Our neighbors had a set of these. My mom made us stay indoors whenever they were playing Jarts.

    Of course, my brother and I were 9 and 5 years old, and the neighbors were drunk, so that's probably a terrible Jarts combination!

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  6. *sigh*...I miss you, Jarts. You'll always have a special place in my heart, next to my bathtime Spiderman Funny Foam that tasted oh so good.

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  7. I think every generation is surprised they lived through their childhood. The toys of the 50s were terrifying and some even contained deadly poisons and nuclear material.

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  8. I remember rigging sling shots so they'd launch standard darts such as you'd throw indoors at the circular target. Three or four of us, one at a time, would send them straight upward. The rules were everyone had to stand in place until it landed. The dart landing closest to anyone in the group won. We all lived, with only one skull piercing I can remember. It was a blast. The 60's & 70's were fun......

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  9. Sleestak, see an earlier post about actual uranium ore used in kids chemistry sets!

    http://my-retrospace.blogspot.com/2009/01/retrospace-is-playing-with-uranium-ore.html

    Darius, 3 deaths may not be much, but almost 7000 emergency room visits is kind of high. Plus think of all the unreported Jart Attacks. I actually had a high speed Jart nail me in the back of the neck. I swear it hurt for the next year, yet never checked in at the hospital.

    Keith- Most kids today are pasty, flacid and weak. A little Jarting might toughen them up. A good solid Jart to the head never hurt anybody... well, three died and over 7,000 were hospitalized. But you get my point.

    Erica- I love it. "Drunken Jart Playing Neighbors" has a nice ring to it... should be a song or something.

    Steve- I'd like to have ALL clowns Jart each other. They frighten me.

    Dr. Monkey- Throwing them was fine. It was the running in terror from Jarts that wasn't so hot.

    FilmFather- Yeah, Jarts wouldn't have made a very good bath toy.

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  10. Those things taught us to be quick on our feet and avoid METAL DARTS thrown in our general direction. Stop crying all you helmet wearing bike riders...We rode without helmets threw a hail of molten and sharpen metal barbs...wimps

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  11. Ahhhh, Jarts! My grandparents had a set of these in the 1980's. My cousin and I used to see who could throw them highest in the air. Luckily there were never any injuries from Jarts, which is suprising since we never saw the danger in them then. Even my grandma, who is very overprotective, never said anything about us slinging them around. I was at a farm supply store last weekend and saw the new Jarts. They have plastic tips now, which takes the excitment out of playing, IMO!

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  12. Hell yeah! Had me some Jarts. They were our favorite activity when we went camping, which was, now that I think about it, the only time we got them out. Remember those flimsy plastic rings that were supposed to be the targets? We never even took those out of the box. Our favorite game to play was "Jart Chicken". Basically one of us would throw two jarts in the air at the same time and whoever got scared and ran away first lost.

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  13. Since 1995, Countless injuries and 39 football players have died in heat-related deaths

    So why aren't we going after football?

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  14. I loved jarts and remember them being banned. I bought my kids the new safe lawn darts that are rounded and weighted. haha. They are safer, but it was fun pulling jarts out of the ground. There are actually beanbag weighted lawn darts now.

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