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In With the New

I tried lots of new things this weekend.

Friday night, Becca and I drove to Blaine to play paintball with 21 other people, most of whom we didn't really know. An old co-worker of mine set the whole thing up, so most people were friends or acquaintances of his, but not necessarily of each other.

So, Paintball: I always thought it was a compound word made up of the words "paint" and "ball." Wrong. It's a compound word made up of the words "pain" and "tball." Those suckers hurt! One of them broke the skin on my hand (thank you to the kindly linebacker who lent me some gloves after that). I also have little bruises on my thighs and back. Yes, my back. Some jackass shot me while I was retreating with my gun in the air. The good thing is, that I now know the answer to the question: "Am I a masochist?"

As with many things, there's a subculture out there that I had no idea existed. It appears to be mostly made up of greasy high school dudes and the girls that love them. Meaning, it's mostly dudes. There are a couple of real-life girls that seem to hang around the place, but most of the women you see are holding paintball guns and wearing thongs in posters on the wall.

It's also telling that the place you go to play something like this is Blaine. To quote Ducky from Pretty in Pink, "Blaine? Blaine?! That's not a name, that's an appliance." It's also a suburb of Minneapolis that takes 30 minutes to get to from my apartment, and involves making dangerous U-turns on divided highways. No, thanks.

I don't mean to make it sound like a completely negative experience. I did have fun. Fun like I'm glad I tried it and I don't need to do it again. I guess I just don't understand the appeal of wargames. There I am, crouched behind a window with little pink and purple pellets of goo flying at me and my gun against my ear, trying to peg people on the other side of the room for fun. I know this may sound trite but the whole experience made me think of the potential war in Iraq. And it made me think of my dad at 19 in Vietnam. After this, I have the luxury of going to Sawatdee for some rice noodle soup with broccoli and tofu, hold the cilantro. When I get hit, I just hold my gun in the air and walk to the safe zone. If only real war was that easy. Thinking about it just makes me want to move to Canada, I tell you.

Tomorrow, we talk about the other new thing I did this weekend: Poker!

Posted January 26, 2003 9:29 PM



I lived in Blaine once...a long, long time ago. It's not so much a place (or an appliance for that matter). It's more of a lacking of state of mind. Everything is so cookie cutter, so manicured, so mindless. "Press the tab...get the pellet."

The John on the I love Canada video is forgetting that if it weren't for America promoting ideals such as freedom of speech and thought, he wouldn't be able to publicly express his opinion that America sucks. If it weren't for American hegemony, Western Europe would have fallen to fascism and Eastern Europe would still be suffering under Communism.

I agree with this dude that Bush is a jackass, but Bush and his extreme-conservative buddies are a minor aberration in what is the most advanced form of civilization ever created. I'd like this dude to try going to a Mid-East country and shoot his mouth off about how he hates it. Let's see how long he lasts in a place which doesn't entertain American values.

Oh yeah, and if he hates America so much, why does he imitate the Apple website? It's the same kind of irrational behavior as when we see pictures of fundamentalist Islamic people burning the Old Glory while wearing Nike sneakers and Gap sweats.

Hmmmmm...I don't know about us being "most advanced form of civilization ever created." That sounds a bit heavy handed. I could actually go on a total rant against Britney right now, but this is neither the time nor place and since she doesn't post contact info, I'll just have to let it stew-or write about it on my blog later.

I was thinking about doing paintball, but then I remembered it sucks ass.

I hope poker was better.

Hmm, I guess *I* tend to see Paintball as more of an extension of tag. When I was a kid I was totally into Lazer Tag. Ahh....wasted youth.... However, I imagine your assesment of a Paintball "enthusiest" is probably accurate.

P.S. Britney - I don't want to turn this into a Pro-USA / Anti-USA diatribe. But, let's just pretend for a moment that we are the uber-civilized enlightened society you claim we are and not berate people for their opinions. Since, after all, that is why he is *lucky* to live in the US, where this kind of speech is protected.

I feel some poetry coming on...I will check back in a week to read Haiku on Paintball.

Yikes! How come there's so much anti-Americanism these days?

Say, speaking of paintball, did y'all know the NRA is hiring? There are a bunch of jobs on its website. www.NRA.org