How to Support Someone's Decision

This week, instead of just mentioning the Amazon Affiliate links  (USUKCanada), I’m going to point out a product I use almost every day that can be purchased at

The Platypus Soft Bottle - (Here's the UK link) - (It's not available in Canada, for some reason)

It’s a refillable water bottle that can be rolled up and stowed in almost no space. When it’s full it can stand on its base. I’ve owned one for well over a year. I use it many times a week and it still looks brand new. Either you’re wondering why someone would want such a thing, or you’re already ordering one.

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Reader Comments (32)

My mother gave up on her quest to keep our house toy-gun-free when my brother, at the age of two, bit the corner off a graham cracker, held it like a gun and started making gunshot sound effects.

August 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Cool

k'nex were a popular toy with my me and brother. It wasn't long until we had bolt-action weapons that could puncture drywall.

August 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertan

My parents didn't allow us to have two guns or play anything with "guns" in it (no using your index finger as a barrel). Later, after I enlisted in the Army as an Infantryman and volunteered for the Special Forces my half sister who had a 12 year old son asked if there was anything my dad would have done differently. He said "Buy that kid every gun you can find, get it out of their system before it's too late." And now I'm a programmer, jokes on him.

August 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertwitted

The hatred of Australians continues! The only platypus in US, UK and Canada are in zoos - but where's the Aussie amazon link?!

August 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMick from Melbourne

As its been a while I've become accustomed to the new layout with the comic on the right. I also like that you've done away with the red borders that weren't equal in thickness on all 4 sides too which is also nice.

Anyways, nice work on the new website design.

August 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFranpa

re: the platypus bottle and canada is a pale shadow of the american version. It has most of the books you guys have, but *very* few of the non-book products.

I don't know why. I'd considering moving to the States just to get the better version of amazon + amazon prime.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGraeme

I wish my two year old would pretend stuff was a gun. Him running around saying pew pew would be preferrable to him running around with a "hammer" to hit his kid sister. x|

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterwickedragon

Is my mind stuck in the gutter or is that a masturbation joke in the final panel?

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike

My Mom wouldn't let us have toy guns or even pick up a stick and go "bang bang". If we did, she quickly beat us so we would learn to be non-violent.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobster0

I like the new favicon (well, it's newly visible to me).

But I didn't get the last thing that Scott says in the final panel.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames Hutchings

Great idea on the product suggestions! You actually made me click your link this time, which I haven't really done... ever, so far. Okay, I think maybe once a long time ago, when you first introduced the book. Unfortunately, I don't buy dead tree much anymore. I would say don't push it and look for things to recommend that you don't have, but if you have things you ordered and think are cool, hearing about them is more likely to make me think about getting them. I'd have probably bought that if this climate I live in didn't grow mildew so easily. All of my waterbottles get that funny smell within a few weeks, no matter how aggressively washed. I'll just stick to refilling my Ozarka bottles until they smell funny, and then recycling them, and buying a new flat. Ah well.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZoe

[Deity of your choice including None Of The Above] save us from parents with nifty social engineering/parenting/genderology/dietary/fashion statement/cultural ideas. Small favors dept.: such parents are at least an incentive to grow up and move out as rapidly as possible.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

Ah yes... My parents did this for a while. In the meantime my brother and I used tree branches as imaginary pistols, rifles, and crew-served weapons.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFranz

I feel i should mention- yesterday morning I awoke to the sound of my cat throwing up. I was out of bed in three seconds!
It would still be a great idea for an alarm clock.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjoseph

I will vouch for the Platypus. It's the ideal method to take wine backpacking -- lose all the weight of the breakable glass bottle, and squeeze out the air to keep the wine in good shape for at least a week on the trail.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDerek

Like Scott I grew up with many toys (Not guns) that shot tiny projectiles, and in some cases choke-able projectiles. (My favourite being BSG Viper and the Cylon invaders. Though everyone thought the X-wing fighter and the Tie-fighter was cooler.) You can also Google, "1960 toy gun" and though I was born in 1960 my childhood was really the 1970's. Still there are many 1960's guns that followed into the 70's either unchanged or modified. (I had a very cool Tommy-gun that made a multiple lead-shot rounds. One day I woke up and somehow my gun mysteriously got broken. A puzzle i have no answer to this day.)

I think I know where Scott was going with this and I can agree. I mean the guv'ment has took away my right to purchase a toy gun from my kids. Is it because those who in favour of the ban couldn't resist themselves and would have bought one? Is society so violent and stupid that they can't distinguish between fake and real?Do they really think that because they have a toy gun that later in life they'll find a bell tower and let'er rip? All I can hear is the old, "Will someone please think of the children!" Of all the kids I used to play guns with they are well adjusted and have success in their lives. The ones I still keep in contact with don't even own a gun. (Which is not that unusual as I do live in Canada.)

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrian K

The main trick is in the principles of the thing... it's not that they wouldn't LET me have guns, they just told me from a really young age that guns can't do anything good for a person.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCopland

You forgot option 3: you already have one (or several) folding water bottles.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChuk

Amazon Canada only sells books and movies and the like. No stuff. :(

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWilson

Both my sons are extremely boyistic. The younger boy was particularly creative in repurposing non-weapon items into guns of various types. He specialized in reworking those insanely complicated Lego kits - a deep sea submersible becomes a multi-spiked death demon. Swords and staffs (staves?) also big favorites.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

I just bought two Platypus Softbottles via your UK Amazon affiliate link, Mr. Meyer. They'd better not suck!

On a lighter note, I am enjoying 'Basic Instructions' very, very much (as I have been for some time now) and will continue to recommend it to all my 'friends'.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Selman

I used your amazon link! But not to order a Platypus water bottle... I can see myself spilling that sucker way too often. :-)

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen

It's very true.

I have four kids, covering both genders. Give train toys to them all, the girls arrange them in a circle to have a chat. The boys use them as projectiles. They're only very briefly interested in actually running them on tracks.

Pieces of track can be makeshift guns, as can pieces of toast if you eat them right.

We just let them have guns, within reason and with rules about usage. Anything else seems a pointless waste of effort.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

growing up in a near complete male household with enough relatives to full a phone book page my family never tried a no toy guns policy.

i have been attacked and have attacked with just about every possible toy that existed between 1987 to 2002. Bet you didnt know that monopoly was a full contact sport.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterisiah

I had this wonderful squirt gun; it wasn't huge, but it was totally acurate.
My brother borrowed it...

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDee

I am kind of disappointed that the platypus bottle is not platypus shaped.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterE

I think my mum tried not getting me toy weapons, but gave up when I started making guns and swords out of Duplo (Big lego bricks) the selotaping them together to they didn't break.

August 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJerden

I know of only one person who was able to keep toy guns out of her house and not have her son use what ever he could find to build toy guns. She also didn't allow television into her house.

Later, when he was old enough to be in school, she allowed it but he wasn't as gun crazy as his class mates.

August 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLEH

<q>I find learning about delayed gratification is more satisfying if they figure it out themselves later</q>

Wow, that's a genius line. I'm going to steal it. But never fear, I always point as many people to your site as I can, you'll get credit eventually.

August 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbonhomous

I wasn't allowed toy guns, now I have a collection of crossbows and swords. Like any proper man, I have played with every last one of them.

August 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter; )

I didn't have many toy guns for the same reason Scott parents were just too cheap to get me any, hahah. Living out in Idaho wilderness though, I had to learn to use a gun at a very early age for protection against various wild animals (mostly rattle snakes). We never saw them as toys, since they were used as just another tool in the wilderness.

November 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNefrai

As a kid, I was far too indoorsy and lethargic to use toy guns. I used toy dinosaurs instead. This makes me think that my parents thought pretending to eat people was better than pretending to shoot them.

June 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterZ
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