Stags and things.
Paintball..... not my normal choice of entertainment.
BUT as father of the bride to be, I did my duty and went to my future son in laws STAG-DO. a tradition that was once based around lots of beer, a pub crawl and dressing the 'Stag' up (or down) before chaining him to a lamp post or even better, a plane to some far off land.
Nowadays , the simple stag do is not so acceptable as an array of activity based 'stuff to do' isall a part of the last day of freedom. Many, as this one, are also done weeks or months before the wedding so as to give the groom some time to get over his ordeal.
I am not going to add intimate details of this event, other than to say Le Stag, got very very drunk, slightly scarred, but kept his clothes on for most of the day.
Paintball....... that is the reason for my blog post today.
As mentioned above, the thought of dressing up in used Camouflage boiler suits, donning a Moto-Cross mask and running around a forest play solders, was not me idea of a good day out.
BUT ! it was a real eye opener.
Despite being shot at by 10-12 opposite team members , getting some proper bruises, and exhausted after 7 'games', the real shock to the system is the feeling helplessness when stuck behind a 12 inch tree, when on is 30 inches wide.
Even popping a head up to see where the 'balls full of pink stuff' were coming from, resulted in at least 10 or 15 bullets either hitting me or getting too close for comfort.
Apart from the sting and the mess the 'sport' creates, there was a real moral tale as far as guns, shooting and those involved in the 'real' world of shooting.
For my American friends whom enjoy shooting anything that moves, flies or hides away.
Consider having a day out at a paintball centre. get shot a few times. Try and hide from the armed masses hell bent on hitting you as many times as they can with a 3/4" plastic ball travelling at 60mph. It ain't gonna kill ya, but boy it smarts, and most of all it gives you a different aspect to being at the receiving end of macho madness.
For those that decide on the benefits systems doled out to ex-forces who have done their time in the middle east, or places around the globe where unrest means real guns being emptied in your general direction. When you are sat behind a barrier in some English woodland and had the opportunity to see just how easy it is to be shot, I can guarantee that your mindset will be changed.
Paintball as a sport or hobby is a good release from the real world. A stress buster, not something I will be taking up as my weekend happy pill, but I did have fun, I have the scars to prove it and my respect for those who do carry out their work with real guns, in real danger has grown 1000%.
Thanks to James who organised it, Matt for being the rabbit (sorry Stag) in the headlights of 13 mates.