Would you rather work or play paintball?

July 5, 2007

I’m calling the lady who answers the phone in our office a secretary whether it’s politically correct to do so or not…
Anyway, the secretary walks from office to office here at my place of employment taking a survey and bearing a pad in her bony hands, stops at my door and says in her shrill Cleveland accent: “At the office retreat would you rather work or do paintball?”
paintball-01-50pct.jpgNot being a fan of fantasy violence, per se, but being even less a fan of work, I responded without hesitation: “Paintball…I guess.”

(BTW, this guy in the pic ain’t me.)

Hey, who knows, this aiming-and-firing- a-weapon thing could be a survival skill that might come in handy when the United States collapses into anarchy in the near future due to continued conservative fiscal and social irresponsibility.
This paintball thing comes at an interesting convergence of stuff that’s been a happenin’ lately to moi.
Last week at Goodwill I spied quite by accident and on a whim scarfed up a spanking new copy of the “U.S. Army Survival Guide” (2002 edition) for 50 cents. I mean, knowing how to dig a vole trap or assemble and tie off a tourniquet made from saplings and torn cloth or recognizing edible/inedible plants and dangerous snakes or how to keep a life raft afloat in stormy water could be useful knowledge, wot?
Over the weekend, for some inexplicable reason I had a hankerin’ to play a good ole Playstation first-person shooter, Star Wars Battlefront, which I used to be pretty good at and found out that I still was pretty good at—even though the virtual reality constant motion made me nauseous after a few hours.
My next brush with entertainment violence came in the past few days, as I had a jones to catch up on some obvious hit movies that I had missed, but which have conveniently been laying in a pile in the basement in my middle son’s DVD collection. This haul included Master and Commander, Hotel Rwanda and Gladiator. Lots of Russell Crowe being manly and commanding and warrior-like in a couple of those.
Oh, and a revisitation of Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine was in order, too. Oddly, on this viewing, I found myself more sympathetic to the viewpoint of the militia types in the movie, though not so much for Terry Nichols.
All pumped up from that lot, I went to my sister’s house yesterday for her annual Fourth of July illegal fireworks fun. Lots of rockets and ‘plosions in the driveway and throughout the surrounding neighborhood. We ‘Murkins loves our ‘plosions. The boys found some plastic toy soldiers and lit firecrackers under them and the limbs went a flyin.’ Perhaps for obvious reasons (eg., the state of things) I found this distasteful.
But, the coup de grace, my friends, I found out that my sister owns a paintball gun!
Here was my chance to get a leg up on the office competition. I’d get some experience firing this baby so when retreat time came, I blow away my fellow co-workers—or at least splay them with multicolored painterly marksmanship. Encouraging office workers to shoot one another … sounds like responsible management 101 to somebody I guess.
With all this smorgasbord of mayhem from which to choose, no wonder three parts ignorance and 1 part adrenaline constantly leads us into, well, what it leads us into…
God bless Amurka!
Evan G