The potato gun is definitely not a safe toy, but then neither are a lot of things that are fun. Larry made our potato gun in the late 1980's. Aaron took it to college in 1995, and after some will-not-be-disclosed-here incidents involving a feud between his rental house and a nearby sorority house, the gun had to go in hiding at oldest son's house. The gun is about 20 years old and showing its age. It's been in the root cellar, unfired, for the past two or three years. Somehow we got to talking about it over the weekend, and someone dragged it out. It looked rough, but a little tinkering got it in fire-able condition.
Fire in the hole! Jaime looks dubious but entertained.
The gun was not as spectacular as in its glory days, but it was fun, and the guys used up a lot of miscellaneous almost-empty spray cans of various stuff, looking for propellant.
If you'd like to try your hand at making one of these homemade cannons, there are many sites online with instructions. (Note that the linked site rates the potato gun as "do not do this.") Aaron has one that uses an air compressor instead of propellant, and there are many other variations on the basic idea and propelling a potato through PVC plastic pipe into the netherworld. Why would someone want to do that? I have no idea, but I can attest to the fun we've had doing that very thing.
The happy gunners.
Inside, the children nestled snugly in the hide-a-bed. Hannah read to them from her favorite book-at-Granny's-house, Jim Flanagan's The School of Scary Stories.
We ran out of potatoes and marshmallows, but the fire burned on into the wee hours of morning.