By H.G. Miller
This guy at work has been egging me on to go play paintball with him for about
a year and a half now, and I finally broke down this weekend.
Always follow your instincts, kids. You're body knows what it's doing when it
tells you it doesn't want to go run around in the woods with cylindrical
pellets of neon ink flying into your head, chest and groin.
And speaking of kids, I'm a little frightened at the cold-blooded accuracy of
the twelve year olds who dominated the battlefields. Not just the accuracy. The
taunting and dancing and laughing really got to me, too.
I mean, some pre-teen twit who has a paintball gun that probably costs more
than my car, and enough ammo to fill my cubicle at work, has the gall to lord
superiority over me when I'm stuck defending myself with some rusted piece of
rental equipment that has duct tape holding it together that is itself older
than the afore-mentioned assailant.
So, like I was saying, that shot to the groin really frickin' hurt. I mean,
it's bad enough to have six bright pink splotches about the chest informing
your fellow paint-ballers that maybe you aren't the best choice for their next
team. On top of that, I have to be hobbled and speaking in a high pitched voice
for the rest of the day because I forgot to where a cup. I mean, who knew?
Perhaps my greatest moment of grandeur came when I was holed up behind a
plywood plank with the phrase “Dead Man's Grave” spray-painted on it, shifting
for a comfortable shooting position and eying the field about me, determined to
get off at least one good shot now that I had some shelter. Okay, so shelter is
sort of a strong term for this particular piece of plywood. I'm pretty sure the
spray paint was what was actually holding it together. At any rate, once I
poked my head out to find a target, the plywood's functional use greatly
dissipated, as my noggin' was in clear view for all potential assassins to see.
Imagine seeing a field. A beautiful, serene field with bushes and trees, and
clouds on the horizon. Now, imagine that field suddenly turning into a massive
blob of pink and green and purple. Well, that's what happens when three
different people see you acting like an idiot and sticking your head out into
clear sight for all to aim at, and they all happen to have the same deadly
accuracy of Ron Jeremy come time for the money shot.
Times like that cause me to thank God for the phrase water-soluble.
Once I found my way out of the battle field, wiped the paint from my goggles
and waited for my companions to finish the round, I sat back and reveled in the
one thing that gave me superiority over these little urchins with their
high-priced equipment. They would have to ride back with Mom tonight and scarf
down a few aspirin tablets in order to deal with the bruised skin and sore
muscled from a day of combat.
I, on the other hand, was old enough to go to the nearest retail grocer and
find some much stronger medication for my ills. Sure, I may have gotten my ass
kicked on the paintball field, but my friends, Mr. Jack Daniels and Mr.
Coca-cola, could care less about any of that.
And now, neither can I.