Back in February, a video of a kid repeatedly pelting his mother with eggs made its way around the web. It was fine — funny even, watching his mother scream “Noooo!” (and manage to deftly catch the flying eggs). But this is the internet. Copycats weren’t far behind. Like this kid repeatedly shooting his less-than-thrilled dad with a Nerf gun to the tune of nearly two million views.
This week, a similar video entitled “I Shot My Wife Everyday for a Week With Nerf Guns” popped up on Facebook featuring a man named Jason Ward shooting his wife with Nerf pellets while she shouts things like “No,” “Are you freaking kidding me,” and “If you keep hitting me with that thing, I’m going to shove it up your ass.” A freebooted version of Ward’s video with over 50,000 views is at the top of /r/ videos today on Reddit.
The egg video, despite the obvious duress of its star, was novel. And that first Nerf gun video had the added benefit of the father chuckling while calling his son a “little bastard” for demolishing him. It felt like the dad was in on the joke. But this video, as also pointed out by several redditors, “the title [of the video] should read ‘I filmed the evidence used against me in divorce court,’” doesn’t leave you laughing.
Maybe it’s the clip where he shoots the Nerf gun at his wife as she gets dressed and pulls a shirt over her head or the one where he turns the toy gun on a cat instead, but when Reddit, a place infamous for trolls, starts calling out your content, you might have missed the mark. Sure, it’s possible (and even likely, given that Ward has a Facebook page full of posts where his wife is the butt of the joke) that his wife was a willing participant in the Nerf gag, but the video still comes up uncomfortably short on good, viral content and instead feels heavy on sexism and gags that make light of gun violence in a contentious time. Of course, I supposed that depends how you are measuring. Ward’s original Facebook video has been viewed over eight million times, and counting.