Monday, December 10, 2012

Bullets and Booze

Well, paintballs and cocktails but that doesn't have quite the same ring to it does it?

A couple months ago I hosted a beer night.  It was Oktoberfest-y in intention. Everyone had to bring beer to share, with the caveat that it couldn't be a run-of-the-Mill-Budwiser-Coors type. There are gads of great local microbrews.  Combine that with inports and other US small batch breweries and why would anyone drink anything else?  Not to mention I've got some friends who are beer connoisseurs.  Some call us beer snobs.  I say we are selective. The night has a brilliant success.

A small group of four were intrepid enough that we venture on the the battlefield for paintball.  None of us had ever played before and weren't quite sure what we were in for. Danielle and I both had the sense to layer up.  I think we both had three layers on top and bottom.  The boys didn't think quite that far ahead.  Brendan ended up in just jeans with a t-shirt and sweatshirt on top. 

I'd covered our entry with a zozi deal (like groupons) and we'd each paid our $25 for gun rental and paintballs.  We were chatting and talking about the battle to come as we waited for our safety briefing when a big guy walked over and told us not to get hit in the nipples. That it really really hurt. He then proceeded to whine about it while clutching his chest for the next few minutes.  We all started to question the decision to play paintball. We were still milling around when that same guy came back holding his neck advising us not to get hit there either. It was unanimous that we either needed to start or bail.

That was when we got our rules and regs speech by a kid who probably spent waaay to much time on the paintball field and was trying to nurse a few scraggly lip hairs into a mustache. Don't shoot each other within ten feet, keep your mask on NO MATTER WHAT, how to load the guns, yadda, yadda.

Our first match was on the advanced, authorized tournament course.  It turned out to be our least favorite.  The spots to hide behind were all little bouncy castles. We played two life elimination which means if you get hit once, you go back and touch base then get to go again until you are hit a second time.  In actuality what happened was I got hit once, went back to back, followed the advice of the scraggly mustache kid and got shot almost immediately.  As I retreated hands up to show I was already "dead" I then got pelted three more times. The rest of my group had the same experience.

I think I did improve.  It wasn't but a game or two later that I got my first kill.  A few games after that we were combined with several other groups to make bigger teams.  We were on the beginner course.  Brendan and I were on the far right side watching in front for targets and in quick succession were both hit in the left hip, from nearly behind. No one from our team went left when we started so we'd been flanked by the enemy. We were both rather cross about it. By the end Eddie had taken two shots to the head, Brendan one.  Most of us are sporting some very purple or at the least red bruises on our thighs.  I've got a large plum like one on my left bicep. Despite all that, I'd go again.

The final game was on the first course.  It's running around trees, in mud using simple plyboard standups as cover.  I managed a couple kill shots and ran two guns out of ammo without getting killed.

Muddy, bruised and telling tales of glory, we headed to my house to clean up.  Pizza was ordered and we waited for others to arrive. This time it was a cocktail party with a concept similar to the beer nigh.  Everyone bring a liquor.  I provided tools (shakers, jiggers, strainers, swizzle sticks), mixers and garnishes. Each participant was to have a recipe in mind and we'd share. 

Pineapple upside down shots, rootbeer floats & creamsicles (no ice cream!), mojitos, vesper martinis, the Mel's special, egg nog martinis, straight samples of grappa, tequila, and moonshine made for but some of the choices.

Part of the reason I can host these events is that I have enough soft surfaces to cushion the walking dead who are unfit to drive.  This time around that meant five extra extra folks.  I'm a bit embarrassed by what a terrible morning after host I was.  I did manage to get Danielle to Seattle for her Bolt Bus and Eddie made it to the church on time, as it were.

Chris mentioned that now, we must surely be due for a wine night, though I think I may need months to fully recover.

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