Paintball party

My grand-nephew turned eleven years old recently (how did that happen, when he was a baby only yesterday?), and had a paintball birthday at Ferrymead Paintball. I was invited to join in the shoot-out shenanigans, and did ponder on it briefly before declining. My memories of the original paintball game here in Canterbury, NZ, many many moons ago, called the Ultimate Game, was that those paintball pellets hurt like f*k when pelted with them from those air rifles. Plus, my pride didn’t want me to show myself up as likely being the oldest and weakest link on the team. Still, I must admit there was a little bit of residual hankering to join in ………..

For the most part, the paintball war party was a ‘boy affair’, comprising both big and little boys and one girl. The spectator party, made up mostly of women and girls, ended up being rather a fun affair, too, even though the division of the sexes like that could be construed as awfully gender stereotypical when viewed from above. However, sometimes the divisions aren’t always as bad as they might look. Not that there was much to see for the spectators on this occasion, as the game took place at the furthest away section in the paintball arena.

After seeing the boys off to go and duke it out in the arena, the boss-man of the paintball business came over to have a chat with us spectators. He assured us that they had lower-powered guns for women and girls, because he realised that we had softer skin. Of course, there’d be some who would think that a few of us were actually fairly thick-skinned, but it’s mostly us ol’ chooks who enjoy that advantage 😊 Then he went on to tell that the oldest person he’d had play the game was an 83-year-old bloke who apparently had had a ball, which I don’t think I was wrong in guessing was indirectly directed at we the aforesaid ol’ chooks. Anyway, the boss-man of the joint sweet talked us into considering that a girl-only paintball party might be a bit of fun to arrange. The birthday boy’s younger twin sisters, who had been banned from partaking in the birthday boy’s paintball game due to being considered too young, were especially keen. Watch this space.

I confess that the best entertainment, though, came not from the boys duking it out, which as I mentioned we could barely see, but came unexpectedly from the boss-man when another party of boys came in to have a session. Having been in the business for a while, he clearly knew boys – and knew that boys between the ages of around 10 -12 as these boys were – needed special treatment, so he gave it to them. The first we knew that the real entertainment was about to begin was when a sergeant-major voice suddenly boomed out. This sweet-talking-to-the-girls boss-man transformed into a don’t-mess-with-me boss-man when he started addressing the group of around eight boys. I didn’t hear the same tone when he addressed the boys in our group, but maybe that’s because there were some grown-up boys amongst them who appeared to have some maturity with their age – a combo that’s not always guaranteed.

Boy, did he give it to those boys. It was an unashamed treat to observe. From the looks on their faces, I don’t think they’d ever been spoken to like that before – lol! We Boomers were sniggering a little more than any other adults there, I confess. Having said that, the man who had accompanied the boys definitely didn’t look unamused, either. Knowing that paintball has an element of danger for eyeballs if the full-face masks provided are taken as an optional extra and removed when they get hot inside, the boss-man hammered it home with the full force of his blunt instrument of a voice. First of all, he told them in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t their friend, he was their paintball boss and they’d better listen to him or not be there and did they understand? There were nods all round. But that wasn’t enough – he demanded to hear them say it. They dutifully did. Then there came ten press ups and running five times around the building and yard, followed by five more press ups before he let them start kitting up for the game. Yep, the boss-man knew boys.

Our party came back suitably hot – especially under the full-face masks – overalls splattered with paintball badges of honour, and hyped with stories of their derring-do. Birthday boy proudly showed off a red mark on his back where a paintball had found a rare soft spot on his body. If it developed into a bruise, then his day would be complete. Nothing like a good show-off trophy to take home with one after a good ‘bash’, eh?

15 thoughts on “Paintball party

  1. Trish Stewart Clairvoyant

    I loved this Katrina, you had some great humor in it, I laughed, nodded my head and agreed.

    You constantly amaze me with how you are able to spin your words into a great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Participants die indeed dye hard. A multi-aged fun frolic with an opportunity to raise a welt and a bruise to insure bragging rights. I also do not know how eleven-year-olds acquire more than a decade overnight. My oldest child turns 50 in one month less than 3 years. Haha! and OMG.
    I have also quite literally become thin-skinned. Metaphorically, not (a bald-faced, bald-headed lie, of course).
    Best wishes to all and each in Canterbury!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are absolutely correct, Katrina. The half-century mark is mathematically notable, only the full century milestone is clearly a change. And I cannot count on one finger how many people reach a 200th birthday. LOL
        On a related bit regarding elapsed time, I hit the three-quarter century marker in September. Add an OMG to that LOL.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, the OMG is real for me, too! But I look back and realise how much I’ve done in what I would refer to as a fairly ordinary life (although it’s true that some don’t think the same way about my life as I do, and that sort of fascinates me). Then I kinda get amazed at the movie reel I see in my head, or rather snippets of the movie reel, of the things I’ve done in my ‘ordinary’ life and add a WOW to that. I don’t think we get how much we actually do in life that’s fairly amazing until we start to ponder on it a little. Perhaps we’re bombarded so much with people’s extraordinary lives now that we think ours are not much to write about, but as I get older I understand that we’ve all got something ‘to write’ about.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. OMG, Katrina! I just did an “unread” search on WP and discovered this reply. Ouch, I *always* reply to comments and am miffed at myself for the oversight. Kicking myself in the shin with the heel of my foot. Merde! That doesn’t hurt enough.

        Now to my reply.
        I feel exactly the same way when looking back over the blessings and well-deserved bad karma that arrives from unbelievably stupid actions which have hurt others. Even in the recent past. However, self-flagellation does not make you a contributing citizen of this planet if extended too long. With that long-enough disclaimer, the long arc of my life has gifted me with some very good fortune. Actually, my first job is something I have written about right here on WP:
        I really do like how we can observe our lives as a unique combination of events, like a path blazed by no one else in the same way.
        It really does work like a movie reel, and even extends back to actual movie reels from the 1950s. One of my hobbies is listening to Old Time Radio shows, many are available online and free, such as I am still more an audio listener than video, particularly not a big fan of TV. There is something about what they call “theater of the mind” that allows you to supply the scenery from within your cranium.
        Everyone is worth listening to. One of my favorite books is by author Studs Terkel of Chicago, Illinois fame. His book “Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do” is actually one of the formative event of my life.
        You can also find him on YouTube:

        I would enjoy reading about your “something ‘to write’ about. As you can probably tell from this very very-belated reply.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. How many people have worked at McDonald’s, eh? Especially first jobs-even though yours was short-lived 🙂 However, not me, as Mc Donald’s took a long time to consider it worth their investment to set up here in NZ. By that time, I was long past the working-at-McDonald’s phase of life – lol! Gosh, writing about “something to write about” has got me thinking. I’ll have to dredge the memory banks to remember details – or I can just make them up 🙂 I do remember one of your blogs – or was it a comment you made – about you backpacking overseas somewhere. You might have some more of those tales yourself to “write about”.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. McDonald’s was probably the first fast-food “restaurant” to crop up everywhere within a few years. There are many people who eat their food every single day. Vegan options are available in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Germany but not in the US. Haha!
        I spent the better part of two years (1971 – 73) in Germany, beginning with an exchange scholarship and ended with teaching English as a second language. I did indeed do some backpacking, but went to most places with a two-month first-class Eurail pass that cost $200 back then. There is a map in a closet that traces all paths. My wife, Lisa, encourages me to write about it. So it is now on my short list.
        People are interested in curious anecdotes that give them a glimpse into your life. New Zealand is considered to be one of more exotic destinations on the planet, but it is still the personal odd bits that are the most interesting.
        “Write about” indeed!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Yes, I agree that it’s the glimpses into the personal lives of other people that intrigue and captivate us the most. The “exotic destination” is intriguing, too, wherever that may be, but it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi without the lives of humans or animals being in it as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Frances Sullivan

    Brilliantly told! Love this. Are the blokes in fatigues part of the birthday gang? I’ve never taken part being gun averse, (remembering the part of the world I come from) but can see the fun. Anywho, I bet you would be a mighty force in the game!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s