An Essay by Shane L. Coffey
If you’ve finally become fed up with safety, contentment, and maturity, then you are primed for the most life-changing decision you are likely ever to contemplate: You are ready to spend the next Saturday of your thus-far meaningless existence in the kind of thrill-a-second, run-’til-you-drop adventure that can only be found at Bloody Welt Paintball, an entertainment resort run by consummate professionals who put the “F-U” in fun!
Don’t let the meandering, dust-choked road leading out to the site fool you; Bloody Welt Paintball is every inch a class operation, from the dirt floors to the corrugated tin roof, from the run-down trailer serving as one wall to the porta-john out back. Honestly, some preppie locker-room and bathroom facility would have ruined the “post-apocalyptic redneck-chic” feel the entertainment directors were clearly going for, but the broken latch and spider infestation of that disgusting chemical toilet just screamed, “Get out of here now or you’ll never see your loved ones again!” And was that blood on some of the random piles of hunting gear and half-disassembled machinery strewn throughout the barn? You just can’t put a price on that kind of atmosphere.
Now, I could continue waxing poetical about how my Bloody Welt Paintball experience has filled a void in my soul that I could never self-medicate away with a loving family, hard work, faith, or basic human decency, but instead I’ll just give you a few pointers that will help ensure your excursion is as transformative as mine.
1) If the game directors aren’t there when your group arrives, don’t give up and go home. Give them the time to wake up and find the least vomit-stained shirt from the floor before they come to unlock the building. That’s just good sense, not to mention a prime application of the Golden Rule.
2) If the price mysteriously increases by five bucks a head after your twenty-five minute wait, pay it! Trust me, the excitement you are about to enjoy is worth every penny.
3) Play with strangers! I was there for a corporate team-building event, running with trusted co-workers who wouldn’t have the stomach to shoot me in the back of the head from three feet away. I envy anyone who goes out on a free-play afternoon to take the field with an unruly mob of angry adolescents and bitter man-children. That’s got to be the true nirvana.
4) When the main paintball expert produces his professional-grade gun to expound on how superior it is to the rental equipment you are using, hang on his every word! He is not, as some of my foolish co-workers insisted, trying to “show off” or validate his obviously misspent youth. He’s only demonstrating the finer points of the most awesome sport…nay, lifestyle that will ever be devised by man.
5) If you get a flat tire driving around the facility, do not complain or cast suspicious looks at the methed-out tweakers who are out there setting up for a Thursday night “concert” in the middle of nowhere. Your flat tire is a carefully-orchestrated part of your adventure experience and is designed to build character.
There are a million other points I could make, but honestly, you wouldn’t believe me until you’ve seen for yourself. Once you have, there is no need to thank me. It is enough to know that others have joined me in paradise, for once you have been to Bloody Welt Paintball, the best part of you never leaves.