Saturday, 9 February 2013


SO I went paintballing. Now there’s bag of angry crap if ever I saw it.

It is ludicrously expensive, cold and painful. It’s also a place where some surreal conversations take place.

I took the middle botherer there with two of his pals as a Christmas present.

It was very rainy. The type of wet rain you get when you wear a jacket that looks expensive but is actually just a cheap plastic pile of pish. The type of jacket that is a friend to rain, invites it in and offers it dinner.

I was wearing some new boots.
Aldi had vowed they were waterproof and flexible. They are heading back to the shop tomorrow soaked and rigid.

That wasn’t what annoyed me the most. It was the cost. It hurt me far more than the full metal jacket paintballs rebounding of my arse, chins and arms. No one aimed for the protective vest, what’s the point in that?

Anyhow, as I hid sobbing behind a tree, I worked out it was about 8p a bullet. 8p. The sobbing became uncontrollable.

I looked around for the three children in my care as it had been a while since I abandoned them to hide. One was stuck in the mud up to his knees and crying. I wasn’t going to go get him as it was Death Valley out there with folk hell bent on hurting me.

One of the marshals will probably sort him, I thought.

I found the other two as cowardly as me hiding behind a similarly seductive tree. At least my boy was aiming his gun in the general direction of the red team and shooting, which was loosely what the plan was.

The other little bugger was just firing at a neighbouring tree and laughing. I started weeping again. 8p, 16p, 24p, 32, 40p and so on went the mantra in my head until I could take no more and headed over to rip him a new ass as the saying goes when you’re in combat gear.

I was shot eight times. In a fury of agony I was told by a marshal that it was “game over” for me. I was marched off watching the profligate little boy blasting my salary against a tree.

I gave the boys a half time team talk just to pep them up a bit, like a good general should.

I said it’s time to stand up and be counted and they stood up. I counted them, 1, 2, 3, job done. We need to think outside the box, I said. But I don’t have a box said the boy from the mud.

“Look, let’s just start shooting at people eh, that’s what we are here for,” I pleaded.

I decided to get involved in the next game. My plan was to go full loony and charge into the maelstrom shooting anything that moved and shooting anything that didn’t move until it did.

Not a plan Napoleon would have been overly anxious to crow about I grant you, but a better plan than hiding behind a tree or blasting the hell out of another tree. That boy was spoken to.

This is where the problems started.

The red team had won every game. Tactically astute bunch I thought. But no, cheating tossers was what they were.

I was hiding in a “church” and shot one cumbersome lurching fella at least eight times, 64p well spent I thought.

No he didn’t go down or walk off, he just kept shooting. He stared at me through his misty visor. I shot him again, straight between the eyes.


I broke cover to speak to him.

“Are you bloody immortal?”


“How come you don’t die when I shoot you? Are my bullets impotent?”

The little fecker shot me at which point a marshal, officious arse, likely a
referee in his spare time, came over and said you’re out.

“Now hang on a minute. I shot this guy loads of times and he seems to be miraculously alive.”

“He missed me,” the lying toad argued.

“You stand there like a bloody Kandinsky monstrosity, head to toe in 64pence worth of paint and say  I missed. Are you colour blind? Listen to me marshal...”

“Call me Dave.”


“Cos that’s my name.”

“Ok call me Deirdrie,” I said.

“The point here Dave is that this guy is far more dead than I am,” I explained.
“I realise how stupid that sounds but that’s war for you. Is he some kind of medical marvel the MoD has trained up to survive the apocalypse? I realise it’s a game but he’s not playing it. It’s costing me money to shoot someone who doesn’t die. That will not do.”

“It’s his birthday.”

“Then it’s a good day to die. If he doesn’t die right now I’m gonna get a big stick and beat him relentlessly with it. Let’s see how his immortality copes with that.”

“You need to calm down.”

“Why? I’m at war man.”

I shot the cheat in the nuts, rapid fire man completely fubared him man.

I was escorted off the game zone by Dave and passed my boy’s pal busy shooting the floor. I shot him.

“I’m a broke and broken man Dave,” I said as I took my visor off.

“I’m stood here covered in psychedelic pigeon shit and shamed into an early exit by a cheat. I may never play the piano again. War is tough eh? I want to go home.”

“It is Deirdrie. Do you want some tea?”

Victory was his.
I counted them out but couldn’t be bothered to count them back in again.

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