I haven’t played paintball in a while, and lately I’ve thought that I should start up again. It’s good exercise, and I like shooting people, but not in a climb-a-clocktower kind of way. I started digging through my box o’ paintball gear the other day, and discovered a buncha stuff that I forgot I had.

  • One pair of Nike football cleats, with globs of grass and dried mud in the cleats.
  • One JT Paintball head shield mask, with a dried blotch of once-bright orange paint on the lens.
  • One JT Paintball jersey, along with one pair of black BDU pants, both in dire need of a bath.
  • One Tippmann A-5 paintball marker, with a dried blotch of once-bright orange paint on the barrel.
  • Two walkie talkies, with corroded batteries in the battery compartment.
  • A Ziploc bag of melted, squashed green paintballs.

This brought back some memories, and a subtle reminder that I’m a slob. Once I get everything cleaned up, and my marker’s O-rings swapped out, I’m going to start looking for some places to play. There aren’t any fields around here, so I shall have to head to the wilds of Houston. Can’t wait.

In the meantime, I thought I’d relate a paintball war story. This will also give you an idea of what sort of player I am, if anyone is thinking of going up against me.

For a while, there was a pretty good woodsball game in Orange, about 25 miles from my house. I was the only chick playing, but I never got any macho B.S. flak from the guys. I shot them, they shot me, a good time was had by all. One particular incident, however, made me think that maybe, just maybe, they considered me more of a girl than I’d originally thought.

We were split into two teams, playing Capture the Flag. The flag was mounted in the center of a bridge built of two-by-fours spanning a shallow ditch. Each team had the opposite side, and the first person or persons to grab the flag and make it back to their base camp without taking a .68 caliber paintball to the back or chest or head (or, once, unfortunately for me, the boobs), won.

Paint rained down on both sides that Sunday afternoon. When I stopped to reload my marker, I took a few seconds to tune into the sounds of  battle. The clicks and chatters and pops of the markers. The pak-pak-pak of paintballs hitting trees. The soft whump when they hit a human target. The hoarse curse or grunt that always followed a hit. The rattle of the paintballs inside the hopper atop my marker.

I was on my last batch of balls that day, and my team was down to two players, me and some short guy with an Angel, a high-end marker. The other team had three extra players on us, but the two of us were very close to that bridge. The short Angel guy made a run for the flag while I laid down cover fire. Didn’t work. He took three to the chest and did the walk of shame back to our base, his marker held up above his head to signify that he’d been tagged.

I was down to two balls. No refills. Once you were tagged, you were dead. No one to give me ammo. I searched the ground, hoping to find some orphans.


Then the enemy made a run for the flag.

I sighted in. And paused, for just a second.

You see, they had sent a kid, the six-year-old son of the guy who owned the land we were playing on. This kid was outfitted the same as us, had played the whole day side-by-side with his dad. He was a pretty fair shot, although he tended to place his hits on the lower legs, since he was a bit short.

And now he was running for the flag, his little legs pumping, the paintball marker clenched in both hands, the too-big facemask bouncing on his head and making him look like a bobble head doll.

I guess they figured that, being a woman and full of estrogen and all, I wouldn’t shoot the boy.

I shot the boy. Twice. In the chest.

He stopped a few feet from the flag and put his hands up in the air. Then he turned and scampered back to his base camp.

Since I was out of paint, I did the heroic thing and made a run for the flag. I got maybe two steps before I was lit up.

I always wanted to ask if they sent that little kid out because I was a chick, and they thought I wouldn’t tag him.

Boy, were they wrong! 🙂

(I wonder why they never asked me to come back?)


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