Article: 261275 of talk.bizarre
From: Andrew Solberg <>
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: Turkey Day Mayhem
Date: 1 Dec 1995 01:10:47 -0500
Organization: iTRiBE Mail to News Gateway
Lines: 174
Message-ID: <49m697$>
X-Mailer: ELM [version 2.4 PL23]
X-Provider: iTRiBE, Inc <URL:>
X-Gateway: Posted via the iTRiBE News<->Email gateway
X-Disclaimer: iTRiBE, Inc. neither endorses nor assumes any responsibility for the contents of this posting.
Status: RO

This Thanksgiving will always be special to me, and I will remember it
for the rest of my life.  Some holidays just bring out the best in
people; Thanksgiving is a good time for that kind of thing because it
represents gratitude and appreciation, family unity, hope for the future
and many other fine ideals.  This Thanksgiving, for me, was somehow  
transformed from an ordinary day into a magical moment -- a moment of
love, and caring, and giving, and murderous mayhem.

This year, finally, Generation X won the family paintball tourney.

                             - * -

To bring you up to speed: I am, at the very heart, a redneck.  Oh,
sure, I'm sleek and glib and generally sound like Tom Brokaw.  Do not
be fooled! oh no!  My roots, on my Dad's side anyway, are pure bubba.

Take my uncle Leonard.  Leonard is interesting, in a vile and bucolic
kind of way.  He owns a largish ranch-type spread near Kerrville, Texas,
where our family traditionally meets for Thanksgiving.  Leonard is a 
survivalist nut, and his bunker rivals anything you might have seen in
_Tremors_.  He is also a Vietnam era veteran, and will take pains to
tell you that he used to be a tunnel rat all the way up to the bitter
end.  Leonard will cheerfully spit on anybody who looks oriental, and
cannot be trusted not to shoot you if you look at him funny.  We try
not to hold this against him, seeing as he's family and all.

My entire family hunts.  Leonard's deer lease is a kind of Mecca for
distant relations, who hang out at his ranch during the cold months
to bag deer.  Every Solberg, young and old, has some exposure to 
firearms.  Many Solbergs are also ludicrously prideful of their
comparative dangerousness to themselves and others, me being no
exception.  This volatile combination invariably leads to feuding,
brawling, bickering, and eventually to paintball.

This was the eleventh annual paintball tourney.  The first tourney
came to pass during the unavoidable post-turkey loafing-about round
of braggadacio, in which my surly elder brother proclaimed that the
previous generation of relatives, veterans or no, could not successfully
stalk a bull with a bag over its head. (actual words.)  There was a
brief moment of incredulous silence, followed by a long string of
fighting words.  Within minutes, my brother and I and various cousins
were grimly marching west through the woods; the uncles took the eastern
highlands.  Leonard has paintball equipment stocked up, you see.  It's
a Leonard kind of avocation.

That first tournament was an utter slaughter.  Within two hours the
plucky yet green cousins lay strewn across the dewy meadows, their
shirts stippled bright red.  (Actually, I got hit in the ass, but it
still counted as a kill in our rules.)  The Baby Boomers were unscathed.
Naturally, we swore vengeance.  For ten years we failed to collect.

                             - * -

But, OH, not this year! Nuh-uh!

I think it's mostly that the veterans are getting old and tired.  Leonard
may once have been a tunnel rat, but the man has a gut in the here-and-now
that would prevent him from following the Viet Cong into the Eisenhower.
None of them have much wind anymore, which is a bad thing in paintball
where 90% of a successful game is the ability to RUN AWAY.

The Baby Boomers have always been the same five uncles: my dad, his brothers,
and one brother-in-law.  Generation X has fluctuated a lot over the years,
though; myself and brother Peter are constants, but other cousins float in
and out.  This year the two true marksmen of the younger generation were 
off in college, so Peter and I found ourselves teamed up with my spastic
cousin Gerald, who sucks, and two teenagers.  It didn't look promising, I'll

We flipped for starting ground and won the highlands, which turned out to
be a huge edge.  It had rained under a week earlier, so the slopes were
wet and hard to move up unobserved.  We set up in a defensive posture and
waited.  Sure enough, one of the uncles made too much noise climbing up
through the heavy brush, and we ambushed them at the hilltop.  My brother
caught uncle Raymond clean in the chest, and the oldsters retreated to
lick their wounds.  5 to 4.

We rearranged our position a little bit and waited.  After 90 minutes we
saw nothing.  As usual, they were waiting us out, figuring they had more
patience than us young-uns.  As usual, they were right; there's nothing
more boring than loafing around with an itchy trigger finger.  We formed
up and took an unlikely route down off the hill.

Here's a good rule for you would-be jungle warriors: Put the best shots 
in the back so they have a panoramic view; put your most alert people on
flanks so they can spot trouble; and put your most pointless member in
point.  Point serves no real purpose in paintball; very few attacks can
ever be seen by the point before the point can respond.  The point has
only one use, and that's BAIT.  Naturally, I wanted Gerald in point.
Gerald knew this trick; he had been point several times in the past and
rarely survived the experience.  He took a flank.  Peter and I took sweep,
which put Logan on the left and Charles in point.  

It was a tragedy the like of which has not been seen since Vietnam: 
innocent youth cut down in the bloom of life.  As usual, Gerald was 
goofing off and didn't notice anything on the right; the enemy cut
Charles down from long range.  I took several shots after them, but they
were pretty far away and through the trees.  Peter berated me for
wasting ammo.  A few seconds later, my dad came limping through the woods.
I had nailed him in the small of the back.  Lucky shot, but hey -- war
is hell.  4 to 3.

We decided to scramble things a little: they had our position, but we
were blind.  We took off on a dead run for the far end of the property,
about 3/8 of a mile away.  We regrouped there and started a cautious
sweep back towards our previous position.

We then lucked out.  Logan caught sight of the evil threesome making a
sweep just like we were doing; our run had confused them, and they were
trying to regain our position.  We happened to have the terrain advantage
again, so we planned a terrific ambush: Lots of cover, firing down from
a ridge into a gulley with nothing to hide behind.  We waited.

It worked, but OH NO, Gerald fucked it up again.  We were supposed to 
wait until we could see several of them.  However, as soon as uncle
Lee broke cover, Gerald pegged him.  Naturally, the other two uncles
hotfooted it out of there.  I almost shot Gerald then and there, point
blank, which would have hurt like hell.  My brother's cooler head 
prevailed.  4 to 2! Do we smell victory?

We had now totally lost all sense of their position, so we made a beeline
for the high ground to collect ourselves.  This was an error.  Leonard
and Winston, the villains, had anticipated this move.  Worse, Leonard,
never a man with fair play on his mind, had prepared a couple of ambush
sites on his own damned property for just this occasion.  He denies it,
but I swear he had little foxholes dug with plywood and leaves over them.
Anyway, they guessed our route successfully and were waiting.  Suddenly
the air was full of BAP! BAP! sounds, and I was crawling away on my belly.
I rendezvoused with my brother at the south gate, but we never saw the
other two cousins, so we correctly assumed they had been tagged and sent
back to the house.  2 to 2.

As the elder cousins, Peter and I deemed it was time to play the elders'
games and beat them at it.  We made a lot of noise crossing the property,
moving low but fast, and left lots of bootprints on both sides of the 
creek as we went.  We then found a fallen log and holed up.  We waited.
After a half hour, patience paid off; I saw Winston tracking us.  He
refused to cross the creek, though; something must have made him suspicious.
We also didn't see Leonard, which scared the beejeezus out of us.  Eventually,
we decided he might be doubling back behind us, so I took a long but clean
shot.  I missed, but Winston rolled the wrong way, and I got him on the
second.  Peter and I were up and gone in a flash.  2 to 1.

The end was kind of anticlimactic; Peter and I were heading for a fence
trying to figure out what to do next, when Leonard just kind of walked 
out in front of us.  We stared at each other for a split second, but 
Peter shot sidearmed first and caught Leonard clean.  VICTORY!

                                 - * -

Well, naturally, there was a load of pissing and moaning that night.
Various vows of a dire and unwholesome nature were uttered by members of
the ancient brigade, and at least one pact with the Dark One was forged,
assuring that next year's competition shall be stiffer than this year's.
Nevertheless, for the next 12 months bragging rights are ours.  Indeed:

        Age behind beauty/
        And pearls before swine;
        Shut up, Miss Parker/
        And have some more wine.

So, next time somebody tells you that Gen X'ers have no character, tell
'em you know two doughty war heroes that took the older generations by
the BALLS and shook 'em til their dentures rattled.  Then shoot them.

This is Andrew "Sergeant York" Solberg signing off.

This post is COPYRIGHT 1995, Andrew Solberg.  All rights reserved.
Standard usenet distribution is acceptable; other forms of reproduction
or reprinting may be considered in violation of international copyright law.
Andrew Solberg is HWRNMNBSOL:, Math Dept., Rice U.