Hubby and I went paintballing when we were newlyweds – so something along the lines of 22+ years ago, when the sport of paintball was nascent.  (Whoop, whoop!  Word Wealth in the house!  By show of hands, who had to take Word Wealth with Mrs. Crane freshman year in highschool?!  I see you, L’il Sis.  Anyone else??  Anyone ever accidentally call Mrs. Crane “Sister” because they were fresh off of 8 years of Catholic Grade School where they were taught by nuns?  Awkward, especially since Mrs. Crane was Jewish.  Now I don’t see ANY hands raised, so we’ll move on.) 

What I mostly remember about this olde tyme paintball were the hematomas and the ticks.  But that was at the height of summer in Central Pennsylvania.  So THIS time around?  December in Colorado??  Hey, it was a Groupon so SHUT IT!  This time around I expected fewer ticks…and surely fewer hematomas.

And I was right!  Well…partially.  No ticks at all. 

But with advances in paintball and gun technology, you can now get even MORE hematomas, all at the speed of sound, via rapid fire.  You can get hit in all your limbs simultaneously and the bruises will already be bloomin’ before you even HEAR that you got hit.  Once you hear about it though, you alert everyone to the fact by throwing your hands up and shouting “I’m out!” all while sucking in big whoops of air like you just racked yourself on a boy’s ten speed bike.

And while I never actually cried, (I wanted to, so desperately, especially after Sissy snipered me in the knee at close range – that sonnofagun HURT! – see pic of damage) I did see Sissy with super glittery eyes at one point.  The particular round in question was over and she was standing there bravely, looking like an egg had gotten cracked into her hair part.  I think that stoicism on her part bumped her up about a dozen notches in the eyes of the random paintball dudes we were playing.

[As a side note, these dudes were NICE!  Just really nice guys with high-tech air rifles willing to share the field with a bunch of paintball novices.  And when I say “novice” I mean we were completely awful.  No strategy, but a lot of yelling and running and immediately getting “out.”  And while I’m glad we spent the time with these guys, for some reason, when I pictured who we would be fighting against/with on the plains of Colorado, I envisioned more Russian paratroopers and highschool kids yelling, “Wolverines!”]

Then Sissy got raised even more notches when she and Sonny got into a standoff.  Sonny has been waiting his ENTIRE life to say the words, “Surrender or die,” to someone, so he was all ears during Surrender Protocol review at “bootcamp training.”  He was about 5 feet from Sissy, they were on opposite sides of a bunker, and he yells out, “Surrender or DIE!”  Up pops Sissy and beans him point-blank in the chest.  Uhhhhh…I guess that’s a “none of the above” on the surrender or die question, but thanks for asking.

There may have been tears at that point.  Not Sissy, Sonny.  Yes, tears because he was hurt, but also because his one moment of glory so quickly evaporated in such a surprising way.  And for SURE there was a hematoma.  When we asked him afterwards if he still wanted to have his birthday party there, he said, “No.  Can you imagine what a really bad party that would be?  With a whole bunch of kids crying all over the place?!”

Good point.  That IS a bad party.  Paintball would be so much more fun without the crying…and the hematomas.  I’ll wait another 20 years before I go back.  Maybe they’ll have improved it by then.    

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