Sunday, May 20, 2007

The fog of fake war

When we left our hero (okay, it was only me) last week, he was searching his old gym bag desperately for his jock strap from high school in preparation for getting pelted mightily with paintballs at a bachelor party over the coming weekend. That event has happily passed, and I’m relieved to report that all the parts that were intact before last weekend continue to be intact today, as far as I’ve inventoried.

I almost bailed on the trip, mostly because Carrie Underwood came very close to convincing me that I was too old to go shooting twenty-five year olds out in the woods. If your car comes equipped with a device that can receive oscillating electromagnetic fields and convert them into sound, you may have heard one of Carrie’s songs seventeen times a day, no matter which frequency of radiated waves you chose to receive. This is because Carrie has released what it known as a crossover hit. The success of crossover hits are measured in units called “Shanias,” and Carrie’s song “Before He Cheats” stretches at least three Shanias long.

It seems rather unfair that songs from other genres can’t cross over to country radio. Keith Urban may escape from the country station and crawl all over the dial, but Kanye West still won’t get any playtime on Big Belt Buckle 98.1. Country radio only has an exit door, not an entrance, and country music listeners will often tell you that exit doors are only to be used for exiting.

Whenever I hear Carrie singing, “I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive, carved my name into his leather seats. I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights, slashed a hole in all four tires, and maybe next time he'll think before he cheats,” all I can think is, “Is his insurance going to cover all that? I mean, if he has comprehensive, the glass on the headlights should definitely be covered, depending on his deductible.”

After realizing that I was having these thoughts, I almost canceled out on the paintball trip for fear that it was too late for me -- time to just give up, buy a velvet robe and subscribe to the Wall Street Journal. But I decided to go ahead and gun it anyway. Once you’re in the real world, you don’t too often get a chance to do things that scare you, at least not things that don’t involve PowerPoint presentations, so I cowboyed up and joined the group last Saturday for our faux shootout.

I give myself some credit for being brave enough to leave my old cup in the car, figuring that paintball technology has probably progressed to the point where the bullets just feel like soapy bubbles popping on your skin anyway.

“I bet you’re so pumped up that you don’t even feel it,” I told myself as we waited in line for our guns and camouflage jumpsuits.

That’s when one of the groom-to-be’s buddies turned to me and said, “Last time I did this, I got nailed right in the crotch.”

“Seriously?” I asked, the color draining from my face.

“Oh, yeah. Somebody zinged one right in there,” he said, proceeding to recount the incident in graphic detail. As soon as the words “swelled up like a grapefruit” came out of his mouth, my feet began running back to the car, totally independent of any direction from my brain, which was still trying to understand how a comparison to that section of the produce aisle could possibly be warranted.

Bringing that cup with me was the smartest thing I’ve ever done. Wearing the cup, a facemask and a camouflage suit, I felt invincible, like Achilles with a prosthetic foot. At least until the first paintball careened off my skull, leaving a goose egg that Jack would have climbed a beanstalk to steal.

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  1. You trying to replace Charles Bronson in the next sequel to 'Death Wish'?


  2. Thank goodness that knot on your head didn't interfere with your sense of humor!

    Please tell us that you at least wounded someone else? It's no fun to get hurt if you can't hurt back. An eye for an eye and all of that, you know....

  3. I liked your country radio door analogy.

    I think the Dixie Chicks would attest that there was also a more direct "don't let the door hit you on the way out" exit too.(and never come back, no more no more)

    I loved the Carrie lyrics. As Randy would say, "they were right on dawg."

  4. I like it, I love it, I want some more of it.

    Sorry, I've just got an Achy, Breaky, know how it is.

  5. Dude, I've missed ya! Not because you've gone anywhere of course, but because I've been a bad blog-buddy. A thousand apologies... I promise I'm back in step now and will be checking in regularly.

    As always, you make me laugh... and, like melodyann, hope you got to give as good as you got.

  6. j. alfred -- More like Booger from Revenge of the Nerds, I think.

    melodyann -- I picked this dude off right in the face. If you've never shot anyone in the face before, I highly recommend trying it. I kind of suspect that you have, though.

    Buster -- You blew that comment out the box!

    Johnny Ray -- It's time for us to bring back the mullet, isn't it. Just kidding. I think we all know it never really left.

    Lauren -- Awesome to see you again, dude! I'll stop over your neck of the internet and see what's shakin'.

  7. Mike - I'm glad SOMEBODY missed me! :-) It's funny U should write about paintball, I had my first paintball experience a couple of weeks ago and the one thought that kept running through my mind, "nobody told me to bring a cup". Luckily, I didn't need, not only did I leave unscatched but I captured the enemy's flag and won for our team. ME! Can U believe it!

    So, new CD, new house, new shows, lots to blog about, so yes, I'm making a comeback ... though, is it really a comeback if only one person noticed U were gone?

  8. Saturn -- Was that you that beaned that one off my skull? Dang, I didn't get anywhere near a flag the whole time. I made friends with the biggest tree I could find and stayed put. You're hard core.

    Sounds like things are rolling on along, man. Good to see you back. If you come back by here, toss me a link to your blog. Otherwise, I'll try to find you using the Googles.

  9. Hey,

    Speaking of Powerpoint, what happened to that speech you were supposed to give at some remote location?

  10. ummm Mike, hun, your supposed to wear the cup on the inside not outside of your pants. hehehehe

    When Gigantor and Kiddo went paintballing once (in desert with sandstone not forest) Gigantor told kiddo to get under a ledge and hide, and pushed him, and kiddo ran headfirst into the sandstone outcropping, almost knocked himself out.

    Gigantor doesn't push kiddo anymore, cuz he doesn't like it when I shoot him with the semi auto pellet gun, as I emphasize each word. DO!!! NOT!!! PUSH!!! MY!!! SON!!!

    I'm a mean mom. hehehehehe

  11. How many "paintball" entries will there be by the end of 2007? We're at two and counting... it smells like someone is running out of content to write about. You've already drained all the embarrassing topics about Kara... why not talk about me more? I like people talking about me, you know I'm an attention whore.

  12. Anon -- Dang, nice memory! I don't exactly remember what event I was writing about back then, but I can say with fair certainty that I yammered and blushed and survived. That's how they all go.

    Burf -- You know, sometimes the most valuable learning experiences come from the times that your dad crushes your head into a rock.

    Jered Earl -- Sorry for not shaking up the topics a bit more. Perhaps you can give some lessons in how you keep such a dazzling variety of topics in your biannual posts.