Saturday, October 13, 2007


I played paintball today with my sister's family and friends at Riverside Renegades. To put some of this in perspective, I've been playing paintball since about 1985 or 86. Back then, it was Splatmasters, PGPs, no maximum velocities, no organized fields and no full face masks. There was a time when I was playing regularly but that group has moved on and I simply don't have the time or the circle of friends to keep in practice. Even so, I can tell my nephew that I have experience from before he was born so I am something of a legend in that sense.

Today, I had a chance to try my camera. I couldn't mount it on the mask so I ended up strapping it on the side of my gun, an older Spyder Compact. I won't go into all the games, just the video highlights.

We were advancing on a 3-walled fort with the flag. There was at least one defender inside and I had some support up on the hill to keep his head down. The walls of this particular fort (DJ's DMZ) do not reach all the way to the ground so I advanced, almost casually, fired a few round to keep the defender's head down and then. . .

. . . shot his feet out from under him. Oooh, he hated me for that. I grabbed the flag and ran back and then started down the hill. I passed the flag off to one of my younger teammates to get it back to our fort. There were still plenty of defenders to lay down fire and slow his return. I don't know if we won that round or if time ran out.

A later game and we were advancing down the hill towards the enemy's flag in a fully enclosed fort with a floor (Dragon Scales). There were to begin with at least three defenders inside but eventually they were picked off, leaving, I thought, only one. Everyone else was sort of hanging back so I continued past them down the hill, reaching a bunker below the fort without opposition. I then turned and came up from behind.

This fort has an access up through the floor in the back, tricky to get to if someone is watching the back. . .

I popped up through the floor and fired one shot. I then moved around the front, thankfully not taking friendly fire, and took out another defender on the right.

I grabbed the flag and passed it off to one of my younger comrades who had followed me to let him run up the hill. I yelled at him quite a bit to just go up the hill but he insisted on taking the long way. I walked up the middle in full view to see if I could draw any fire and gauge the remaining enemy numbers. I took no fire and eventually the kid got back to our fort and won that game.

Another game found that my gun wasn't working properly. I play with a 4 ounce tank, which isn't a lot of CO2 but it should last for more than one game. I think it was getting too cold from firing and the gas was liquefying. Anyway, with my primary gun out of action almost immediately, I headed towards the exit, which was right past the enemy fort (Jared's). When I reached a ref, I told him that my primary gun was out of air but I wasn't calling myself out. My sidearm, a vintage Sheridan PGP, was still full. I walked right by the fort with paintballs flying past on either side. I hadn't raised my hand to signify I was dead and so any of the enemy would have been well within their rights to shoot me, but they didn't. On the far side, just near the exit, was another fort with a single defender.

Once I walked past him, I set down my useless primary gun, drew my sidearm and fired right at the middle of his back. The gut went off but there was no paintball. He didn't seem to notice so I cocked the gun, stepped up beside him and pressed the barrel of the gun against his arm.

"Do you want to surrender?"

"Aren't you out?"

"That gun is empty. This one isn't. Do you want me to shoot you now?"

He surrendered. A few moments later, three defenders came over from the fort. They moved so casually that I thought they might have been out but the took up defensive positions inside the fort I was in.

I'd like to say it was like shooting fish in a pond but it didn't work that way. I shot one guy in the back but the ball didn't break. I shot the second guy but I don't think a ball dropped into the chamber because I cycled too fast. I shot the third gut in the chest and it broke. My fourth shot went off just at the same time they realized something was terribly wrong and someone shot me in the hand. My ball didn't break so he survived.

I love carrying a sidearm.

Finally, something unrelated to paintball. Buddy, the guy who runs Riverside Renegades is something of an ass. He wears the moniker with pride, I should think. That sort of behavior encourages that sort of behavior and at some point one of my sister's friends whispers to me that he was about to use the term "Buckwheat" before he realized that one of the players on the field was black.

"Not a good thing to say," he said, referring to the circumstances.

"Never a good thing to say. Ever," I responded.

And later, Buddy was going of on one of his rants about women and the trouble they are, and he said, "If I had it to do all over again, I would be a stone faggot." Everyone laughed, my sister, my brother-in-law, my nephew, and everyone else in attendance. I didn't laugh.

Sometimes my family embarrasses me and I wonder how I was able to escape to turn out the way I did.

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