Hey, and welcome to the sports stuff, I'm Josh, there's Chuck. This is short stuff. Giddy up. Let's go look out above. So people shout, look out above.
It feels wrong. I think they say look out below. But that didn't make any sense. No, neither one. It just say, how about just look out. Or heads up, that's, you know, not heads up, you'll get a lawn dart in your eye, just move out of the immediate area quickly, duck and cover. There you go.
Yeah, I don't know if that would help either, because get this, we're talking about lawn darts and when they get a real wind up under them, they strike with a force of around 23000 pounds per square inch.
That's right. And we are talking about lawn darts. And if you're like, what is a lawn dart? I mean, you're probably younger than we are because we grew up in the 70s and 80s with these toys.
That was it's basically a giant, oversized dart like you would throw at a dartboard. Right, with plastic fins. Yeah.
And they're about what are they, about a foot long or so? Yeah.
Yeah. And the idea is that it was sort of like cornhole you would get on opposite sides of each other like horseshoes and you had these big hula hoops basically you would put on the ground. Right. And you would throw the lawn dart up in the air and try and get it to come down and stick inside of that hoop.
Yeah. And you get some points for that. You just let it out gracefully, back down into that hoop. And that was it. And there was a lot of fun. The problem is it was a lot of danger as well, because these things, again, a lot of them had like a blunt end, but not all of them did. Some were sharp, especially the first ones. They would come back down to earth, but they lot of force behind them.
And if they happened to come back down to earth via your body, they could really mess you up really well, especially if you were a little kid whose skull hasn't fused fully yet because you're not 20 years old. And some kids suffered tremendously at that at the hands of the law and art industry.
That's right. And, you know, the government comes into play here before we were born in 1970. And this was I think they debuted in about 1950 ish. Yeah. The FDA banned these things because they're like these are really, really dangerous. And the manufacturers said, no, they're not so dangerous. Let's send our lobby in the toy lobby and get them brought back to the market because we got to get these lawn darts out there.
Nothing is more important. Right? Right.
Than getting the lawn darts back to market, getting the people their lawn darts. And Chuck, you lived through the 70s? I lived through the 70s, although I wasn't fully aware except toward the end there. But do you know how dangerous something had to be to get banned in the 70s? Yeah, I mean, SNL had a skit about dangerous toys with Dan Aykroyd. Exactly. So there was there was a push to get rid of lawn darts.
But the lawn dart industry, very surprisingly, if you ask me, pushed back and they struck a deal and said, look, how about this? We won't we won't market to kids anymore. So launderettes are officially not a toy. We'll sell them in the sporting goods section of department stores and we'll put a warning on the box about just how dangerous they are because we didn't say Chuck Lawn, darts of the direct descendant of a weapon of war called the Plum Border.
I read this Mashable article about these, and a plum border is a lawn dart, except a lawn dart that you used in war, starting with the ancient Greeks in about 500 B.C. all the way up to the Middle Ages. People were using plumbbob to.
Yeah, to great effect. Right. And so the the law and art industry, the recreation sporting goods industry said we've got to get these weapons of war back onto the market. And so they struck a deal with the FDA and the FDA said, fine, you can you can start manufacturing them again.
That's right. And that's what we got in on the second wave of land arts in the 70s and 80s when they said we won't sell them in the toy section right at Target. We'll sell them in the adjacent sporting goods section at Target. Kids will never see them.
You'll never know. It will be like they don't even exist to them. And so they came back. And when they came back in that second wave that you and I were a part of, they were bigger than ever. Even like lawn darts were a thing for a little while there, but they weren't any less dangerous than they were before, as we'll see right after this message break.
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And that's how they were sold in a lot of cases.
Yeah, I don't that part I don't get. Oh yeah. Yeah.
Like why they would include another toy, completely different toy in this volleyball set. It just I just don't get it.
Well I think that they were saying like you customer have shown that you have a desire for outdoor fun and recreation in your backyard. Here's another game that we're going to throw in that we apparently can't move on its own. So we're just clear. Was that the deal? That's what I want.
We're going to sweeten the pot on this volleyball net. Why are they giving away? That's what I that's how I took it.
Well, regardless of mental floss, reported that David Snow, this aerospace engineer in California, did such a thing in April of 87 and thought like any reasonable parent, like, oh, boy, I should hide these for my children. All right. Which he did in his garage, but his children found them, started playing with them. And very tragically, one hit his seven year old daughter in the head, lodged in her brain. And three days later, she was declared clinically dead and removed from life support.
And it was a big, big tragedy and a big, big deal. And yes.
So David Snow happened to be the kind of guy who like this would get to anybody, obviously losing your child like this. But I think, you know, there's a significant portion of people who would just be so dead inside that they they just had no drive or resolve for much of anything after that. He was the opposite kind of guy. He went the opposite direction and he became a citizen activist, self-taught lobbyist, self-funded lobbyist who made it his mission to get lawn darts banned again.
But by this time, this wasn't the 70s anymore. This is the Reagan era, 80s. And getting any any industry or business banned or regulated more than it was before was not the easiest thing in the world to do now. So he approached the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which had taken over from the FDA, and he said, you got to get rid of lawn darts. First of all, look at what happened to my daughter. And they say, well, we're really sorry about what happened to your daughter, but if you look at the numbers, man, they're just not that dangerous.
They're certainly not dangerous enough to enact an outright ban. Again, so sorry. No, we're we're not going to be doing that any time soon.
That's right. But what nobody noticed at first was that these numbers included. They were just dart injuries. So that included just throwing regular darts at a dartboard. I mean, I think we've all had one of those bounce off in sticking to our thigh at one point.
It's like nothing, no big deal.
You're not going to go to the hospital for an injury, most likely from a regular dartboard. No.
And if you do if you do, you are making a really big deal out of this.
That's right. So they said, wait a minute, what if we pull all those darts out?
And what if we actually just did a little research on lawn darts? Because that's what we're talking about. And it was a big deal. Over eight years, lawn darts had sent more than 6000 people to the emergency room, 81 percent of which were kids, 15 or younger, half of which were 10 or younger. And they were to the eyes, to the ears, to the face and the head for the most part. Yeah.
And again, kids were particularly vulnerable because their skull isn't fused. So when a kid got hit in the head with the lawn dart, it could very easily penetrate the skull. And they found that this was happening a lot more than anyone had ever realized before. So now they had a problem on their hands. Now they had real numbers that showed that actually this thing is bad enough to to ban. And they looked a little further and they they commissioned a study that found that the lawn dart industry was not following those rules that it had agreed to from when the 1970 ban was overturned.
So they were marketing it as toys. They were selling it in the toy section. They weren't including warnings on the box and just completely going back on on the agreement from before. So it started to look more and more like, OK, maybe we should ban these. And again, Chuck, it's really hard not to step back and be like, these are lawn darts. Yes. Just ban them. Who cares? But that was they would not do it.
They were very deliberate and in undertaking this ban on launderettes. But finally, thanks in no small part to news, the week that the the vote on the ban was going to go through of a little girl in Tennessee who had been put into a coma by law and art, they enacted the ban two to one. They voted in favor of the ban. That's right, and and Reagan's America, they actually banned a toy. And it's so funny to think there would be such pushback over this one thing.
It's like, yeah, you know what? Let's just get rid of the lawn darts, manufacture some other toys. It'll be fine. Yeah, but they had to have those laundered somewhere in the hands of children. Right. And you can still make your own lawn darts. You can DIY it if you if you go on the web, there are companies in the United Kingdom that will sell you the parts, which is a bit of a workaround. Yeah, you can assemble them yourself and you can still go to tournaments if you there is a U.S. LDA laundry association and you can go to tournaments and bring out your old darts and talk about the good old days of no government oversight.
And you can pitch those things and imagine drinks and beer and probably have a pretty good time.
Yeah, probably have a great time, really. Just sticking in the eye of the nanny state just yet.
Do it safely, though. Keep the kids away. Yeah. And I want to say one thing. The reason that you can get lawn darts is because that government banned, banned the important sale, not the possession. And this one company in particular from the UK said, oh, well, that means if we just send these things unassembled, they're really just law and art pieces. And so ipso facto, it's great, legally speaking.
Ipso facto. Yeah. So that's it for launderettes, right, Chuck? That's it. Well, Chuck said that's it, everybody. So that means that short stuff is a way.
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