Chapter 4: Paintball

My brother is in the army. Which I tell you for two reasons:

The first being. Don’t mess with me. Unless of course you want a Liam Neeson situation on your hands. Jk. He doesn’t even read this blog (savage).

My brother that is, not Liam Neeson. Mr The Grey is a huge fan of my work.

The second reason, and the one more pertinent to this post, is that my Bro Town Jack liked paintball as a kid.

Rambo No. 5

There were a run of years in the early Noughties where it felt like every September (the month of Jack’s birth, in the year of our Lord, 1992) I was having my ass handed to me in paintball.

I remember when I was about 13 we went full Rambo in a jungle (read: there were a couple trees), and it was a blood bath. Well, in that I got hit in the knuckle and it bled blood.

That was also that year I yelled at Jack for hitting me twice in the leg, because semi-automatic. But Luck is a Lady, and she knows the ovaries before brovaries code, and late in the game Jack was hit by friendly-fire.

It was the only time he was shot all game, and it was by his own team.

I was over-joyed.

We also tried some indoor arenas/old factory situations with inflatable obstacles. But the result was always the same: a surly Kate covered in welts.

So as you can imagine, I was pretty much the ideal birthday guest. Super positive, super good energy.

Do you remember, September

It seems entirely fitting then that just days after Jack’s birthday this month, I hit up paintball with a bunch of our Youth from church.

I was not going to go gentle into this good night.

I was going to take back paintball.

I was going to be brave.

And maybe blue.

And basically Mel Gibson William Wallace.

More importantly. I was going to not suck!

The Comeback Kid

As prep, I did what anyone would do.

I watched Olan Rodger’s video, The Comeback Kid.

Which, side-bar, is honestly so funny.

Olan is a storytelling genius with a name that has my autocorrect F-R-E-A-K-I-N-G out. His animated series Final Space on Netflix is LEGIT, and Ghost in the Stalls is still one of my favourite things to ever grace YouTube.

Second side-bar: I just rewatched Ghost in the Stalls for … research, and then remembered how much I love Echoes Through the Wall. So funny. So great. So off topic.

Side-bar: Back to Paintball

I watched The Comeback Kid, because:

A. Paintball references.

And B. Comeback references.

It had everything.

So off I went – with my Katniss Everdeen French braids, because that will help – to take back paintball, and to have a good time. Instead of a bad time. Like every other time.

Kate Rates: Paintball

We went to a fitted out old warehouse to play, which was a little bit murdery, but mainly awesome and full of go-karts.

It was helmets only, not the traditional overalls ensemble, which I felt was maximum bad ass.

And it was so fun.

I took the offensive approach (as in, not hiding, I didn’t shout racist stuff), shot vaguely in the direction of people, actually hit someone (which surprised even me), and when I did get shot I took it like a champ. Because child birth.

I ended up with a sizey welt on my leg, a red mark on my arm, a bit of a bruised hand, and a paintball shaped circle on my forehead where a punk kid got me with a headshot.

Through my helmet.

Which is frankly impressive.

It was awesome.

My only regret was not having more bullets. 100 paintballs in 20 minutes goes a lot faster than you’d think.

9/10, would recommend.

Have we got any other Olan (just autocorrected to Zola – how is that more plausible?!) fans in the house?

What brother birthday parties have you endured?

See you next week!

Kate x

Ps. I start Improv classes on Tuesday. Dies.

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