Foam tipped "Jarts" add safety, remove fun

You’d be horrified at my childhood.

My dad’s whole side of the family were outdoors folk from Michigan, Wisconsin. Pennsylvania Dutch. Grandma grew up hunting ducks with a shotgun, was so good at it, it caused marital problems with her second husband. We were allowed throwing knives, hunting knives, all kinds of stuff.

We had jarts. They were fine. Mainly because me and my siblings were spry. Lean stock, distance runners most of us (except my sister, who was a sprinter in track).

It’s pretty horrifying in retrospect. This is just what we were allowed to do. I am still not ready, nearing 40, to tell my parents everything we got up to as kids.


And then it’s a party.


The Jarts are an alien species first named in Greg Bear’s book Eon . They are inhabitants or at least fellow users of The Way, an infinitely long tube construction stretching through space and time. In Eon , they are never really described, but merely a faceless warlike nemesis, locked in battle with the Hexamon and apparently all of humankind. They are a sort of off-screen enemy in Eon, the menace that pressures the gate openers along the way to hurry their work before the Jarts come and destroy them.

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You can! I recently got a set from these guys - . They’re based in the UK but arrived after about a week. The tips are squared off not sharp (presumably safer) but still heavy like the old style ones and work perfectly!

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I still have a scar on my foot where my brother hit me with one of the original steel-tipped Jarts, so I know how dangerous they were. But that was part of the fun. Safety is over-rated. There’s no challenge in foam-tipped darts. You might as well just be playing with nerf balls.

Or when you fart in a jar?


Yes, we had a set of these when I was an enkling. What sort of idiot faces off w Jarts? You all stand on one side and try to hit inside a hoola hoop 20-30 paces down field.

We sold the ancestral Enk-house a while back and one of the things that surfaced is a picture that seems to show us on a home made rope swing and one kid several stories up in the air… a wonder we survived at all.

Also, Eon, Eternity and the short story in the same universe are a pretty good read. Thistledown.

I think I’ve shared this story before, but it belongs here. When I was a kid (7 or so), some friends and I were throwing lawn darts just for the pleasure of watching them sail through the air. After a few minutes of this, one of them got stuck in a small tree. The trunk had a diameter of a couple of inches. I went under the tree and began shaking it. Just about the time I should have lifted up the “In Heaven’s name, what am I doing” sign:

it came lose. One of the fins made a cut down the side of my nose.

No I wouldn’t - I grew up in rural SW Michigan myself. Not so much knifeplay in my household but we sure as heck had our jarts!

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I came for the jorts jokes. Feeling satisfied.


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