Friday, May 3, 2013

Retreat, hell, we surrender

With each passing second the situation grew increasingly dire.
Slowly but surely, the noose was being tightened.
Young faces turned in my direction, longing for advice, guidance and perhaps a ray of hope from their newly appointed leader.
I knew it was up to me to make the decision we had long tried to resist.
There were no other choices and an act of desperation was the only door we could open to bring such a daunting situation to a close.
So I made the tough call: I sat down raised my hands and yelled, “We surrender.”
This decision pleased one of my young charges immediately.
“Yea, we surrender,” he shouted with glee.
A chorus of “We surrender. We surrender” quickly echoed through the woods as the others joined in.
We may have lost the battle, but our little rag tag group would escape harm and be ready for the next, thus ending the first paintball game of the year.
I am not sure how I ended up surrounded by bad guys with just four 10-12 year olds as back up, but I knew the situation was desperate enough to relinquish our flag to the advancing forces.
There were other adults on my team, but they were off in the bushes somewhere, waging their own war, leaving me and the young ones to defend our flag (which is actually an old dish towel) from the grubby grip of our barbaric foes.
At first, I thought maybe we could fight our way out. After all, when someone was hit they have to return to their own fort and touch their flag before rejoining the action.
That’s how I ended up trapped in my fort as numerous paintball markers rained their colourful ammo upon us.
I tend to get shot quite a bit at paintball, resulting in a collection of welts and many trips to the re-spawning point that is our flag.
I am large and rather slow, so stealth is not my forte, and getting the snot shot out of me on a regular basis is pretty much how I play the game.
It hurts, but it is also a lot of fun so the gain outweighs the pain.
Anyway, so there I was, the last bastion of hope to protect our flag. Once I re-spawned and was able to re-join the fray, I ran to the left about 15 feet before being hit.
I turned around, tagged the flag and was back in the battle – for about five seconds.
I moved to the right and got hit yet again. I then began to realize just how many enemy ‘guns’ were pointing at us.
I looked at the four young lads who were huddled under the flag, unwilling to move after witnessing so many paintballs splatter all over me like bugs on a windshield.
I knew they were not about to join the battle, nor did I expect them to, meaning it was myself against a far superior force.
Thoughts of Rambo, Arnold and Chuck ran through my mind.
I formulated a plan that would make any action hero proud. With the speed of a ninja on Red Bull, I would jump down the embankment, taking out one, possibly two of the devil dogs as I went. Then I would charge the others, blasting them into paintball Valhalla as I unleashed the full fury of my assault.
This would be the last thing they would expect. No one in their right mind would try something so brazen, so aggressive, so esprit des corp.
And there is a good reason why no one would try it: because it was stupid.
I made it less than 10 feet into my Hollywood-style assault when three guns opened up on me, sending a wall of paintball ammo in my direction.
OK, on to plan B.
With wide eyes, my four young comrades watched as the mist of exploding paint settled to the forest floor and I grunted like a water buffalo from the pain of being hit.
I looked at my charges and knew there was only one thing left to do – surrender wholly and completely.
Which we did - with enthusiasm.

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