Sunday, June 2, 2013

Paintball, you suck.

Chad and I played paintball today.  Though neither of us really wanted to go, it was a belated 12th birthday celebration for my nephew Tarsus (on the left in the camo jacket) and he was really looking forward to having us there…or maybe they just needed an extra car for some of the kids because we somehow ended up with three of them. Three boys that we never met for a 3 hour round trip. (It's a good thing they were entertaining; I only had to tell them to stop hitting each other once. And one of them even offered to buy everyone in the car something off the dollar menu from McDonalds with his $8 if we swung by the drive-thru.  Score.)
When we first got to the Paintball Adventure Park, I was a little scared.  There were people in full camo gear, and their guns looked very real.  Some even had paintball machine guns.  Did they miss their calling in the military? Or perhaps weren't able to get in the military so they picked up paintball instead?  Luckily we didn't have to play with them since our group was big enough on our own.  
The problem with going with a bunch of little boys is that they are excited to shoot guns-at each other, at us, in the air, at the ground.  Anywhere.
We started the game and the kids went wild.  My gun stopped working after I fired once.  I tried to fix it with our guide, and got shot in the arm by some kid in the process.   
It hurt. A lot.
I wasn't even armed man.  I wasn't even armed. 
By the time the next game started, I had a new gun, but my mask started fogging up.  I couldn't see anything or anyone, I felt fear.  Rightfully so because I got shot again.  
It hurt. A lot.
And though I was out, I got shot AGAIN.  
I cursed.  A lot.  
Help me understand this.  Little paint pellets are fed into a gun, and you're encouraged to shoot them at people so it can burst all over their clothing and hurt like hell?
Why is this fun?  
Maybe if the shots felt like little bubbles when it made contact, then I'd be ok with it. 
While we were reloading the paintballs into our guns, all the kids couldn't wait to get back out to the field.  They loved it!  No one complained about how much the shots hurt, not even my older sister, and she likes to complain.  
I asked Chad if they hurt him.  He shrugged and said, 
"I mean, they stung..."
No.  They didn't just "sting" me.  It felt like it could've broken skin, in my eyes the yellow paint on my clothes might as well have been blood.  
Maybe I was a sissy.  Maybe I was being dramatic.  I wanted to try to call myself out and tell myself to toughen up, but I was distracted by my battle wounds on my injured arm.
I played one more game and found myself really scared that I would get hit in any, and all of my sensitive spots.  It was then that I decided that I was done.  Why am I subjecting myself to this?
After I got shot, again, I took my mask off, gave all the remaining paint pellets to the person closest to me and walked off the field. 
There was only one more game after that, and I watched it from the sidelines.
On the way home the kids kept saying things like:
"Next time…" or "When we come back…" or "That was soo fun!"
I'm glad they enjoyed themselves and the belated birthday celebration was a success, but Tarsus "next time" you're gonna need to find another ride because paintball, you suck.

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