Tuesday, March 24, 2009

War Stories


Your personal paintball experience will include nothing like this


For those of you who haven't been reading us for very long, you might not know that one of the express purposes of this blog is to permit us to embarrass ourselves in a manner that will be permanently recorded to the internet. In that vein I bring you the phenomenon of paintball and the participation of some esteemed members of our blog in it. For those new to paintball, here's a an example of the sport being played:



That of course is not at all like how we played it. Our experience on most days was more like this:



Like all men who indulge in childish activities together for fun, we have a collection of "war stories" from our various paintball outings. These stories are usually recounted at the slightest of prompting. This is no less true when there are a non-paintball players around, indicating that something about the remembered joy of paintball turns off the instinct for social self-preservation. In that spirit I will share with you now an anecdote from my days of paintball, recovered from an email sent to friends while reminiscing a couple of years back. The names have been changed to protect the guilty:

On one of our first trips out [to Hit & Run], Nat-Wu and I ended up paired on the same side, during one of the first matches of the day. Back then they always started with the "long" field, and today was no exception. Nat-Wu and I and a few of our team members started working our way up the left hand side of the field, which was mostly brush, cut through by a few narrow paths. We were a litting hesitent, not knowing the lay of the field well yet, and worked our way slowly up that sigh. This was also one of the days that our friend "M" made it out with us, and he happened to be working his way down the field on the same side, only for the opposite team. M had the misfortune to come stumbling across us mostly on his own however, and in an extremely ill-advised charge on us he was quickly eliminated. However, the danger was not over. As I advanced up the trail a little further, I felt three sharp stings from behind, and the sound of paint splattering on my back. I swung around, stunned that anyone could possibly be behind us as I was out on point and thought I had at least three guys at my back...only to find that one of the guys following me had mistaken me for the enemy. He slowly lowered his barrel from 25 feet away, surprised that I was not an enemy. I have no idea what led him to believe that someone who had been in front of him the whole time could magically turn into the enemy...and I didn't ask.

As you can see friendly-fire, the scourge of the modern battlefield, has yet to be eliminated from the fields of paintball as well. That wasn't my only quick exit at the hands of a teammate, but I'll save that story (and plenty others, including how we came to be involved in this pastime in the first place) for another day.

2 comments:

Nat-Wu said...

There is nothing friendly about "friendly fire". Fortunately I have never been shot that way.

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