Article: 261275 of talk.bizarre From: Andrew Solberg <email@example.com> Newsgroups: talk.bizarre Subject: Turkey Day Mayhem Date: 1 Dec 1995 01:10:47 -0500 Organization: iTRiBE Mail to News Gateway Lines: 174 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: <email@example.com> X-Mailer: ELM [version 2.4 PL23] X-Provider: iTRiBE, Inc <URL: http://www.itribe.net/> 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 admit. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org, Math Dept., Rice U.