Want to find a way to waste some money, get several good bruises on your person, scare yourself shitless, and completely deplete your adrenaline reserves? I suggest paintball!

At first I was pretty weirded out, because I come from a family where we never even had toy guns, and so the idea of shooting at someone for fun didn’t really occur to me. But Mark was so excited, because he loves paintball the way I love reading. So, we gave it a go, and got excited. And we were even more excited pulling into the parking lot, to see that the only other players then were a bunch of nine-year-old boys and a chaperon dad for a birthday party. No problem! They’re little, but we’re wily!

And then a bunch of other people showed up: Guys with camo. Guys with their own guns and Co2 cartridges on holsters around their waists. Yeah. And the paintball referee guy put us five on the little kids’ team.

The first game was a slaughter. I got hit in the chest and the splatter went all inside my mask. The paint tasted gross.

I liked the ‘Guard the Embassy’ game best. I hunkered down underneath the ‘embassy’ AKA paint-covered plywood shack on stilts, and Kat was right inside this little netted fort. We held off the other team for quite a while, a little triangle of me, Kat, and Mark watching for snipers. I got one girl right on the head, that game. That ruled. But then I got hit on the wrist and the thigh almost at the same time. OW!

But one of the groups was a stag party, and they were blatantly cheating: Shooting people after they ‘died’, not going off after being hit, that kind of thing.

And so when the next game came, it was ‘Terminator’, and the paintball guy made the groom and the best man be the Terminators. And they couldn’t die, only surrender. And we blasted them. It was rather vicious. But when I saw the groom covered in pink paint, I smiled. He’d had enough of spoiling everyone else’s fun, today.

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