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When I was a kid, I liked two things. Tonka trucks and playing cowboy & Injuns. I spent lots of hours in a sand box using Tonka’s earth-moving equipment to build roads, dig trenches or haul topsoil. And when I wasn’t doing that, I was wearing my twin six-shooters and a Stetson, making sure law and order ruled the back yard and plugging my brothers and sister when they got out of line. God knows they deserved it. Now, thriving businesses let middle-aged people with disposable income re-live their childhoods (think baseball fantasy camps and kickball leagues). And a business has sprung up in – where else? – Las Vegas that could just as well be called back yard fantasy camp…

In addition to gambling, the Blue Man Group and a thriving “escort” trade, America’s playground is also home to one of America’s worst economies. One byproduct of that is more unused land and abandoned building projects than just about anywhere else in the country. But as reports, one budding entrepreneur sees gold in them thar tales of financial woe.

(Ed) Mumm said he started Dig This after renting an excavator while building a house. “I thought to myself: ‘If I’m having this much fun, imagine the amount of people that don’t get to do this stuff that would love to do this,’ ” he said, according to the AP. Dig This is billed as “America’s first and only heavy equipment playground.”

So he takes advantage of all that open ground and available heavy equipment and charges folks with excess blackjack winnings in their pockets a pretty penny to drive a backloader and dig in the dirt. That was attracting a fair amount of business when he hit on the brilliant idea of adding guns to the mix.

One of the more unusual offerings is a “Dig and Destroy” package ($525). Participants work the heavy machinery, then are taken to a nearby shooting range to run through what’s billed as “50 rounds of ammo-KRISS Super V (fully automatic Sub-Machine Gun); 10 rounds of ammo- Saiga 12 (short barrel Semi-Automatic shot gun); 20 rounds of ammo-M60 (fully automatic machine gun). Less expensive scoop-and-shoot packages are available.

Which should take a typical shooter about 12 minutes after the requisite safety lecture. And all for he low-low price of $525. But what the hell. It’s only money, right? Why schlep all that cash back home with you when you can build a super-highway and off some terrorists in an afternoon? And you won’t have to worry about mom calling you in for dinner just when things are getting fun.

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