Sunday, April 30, 2006

The End of the Sidewalk


I found the end of cable television the other night. That point where the channels disappear and you fall off into a Shel Silverstein-like precipice. It was the national paintball championship on ESPN2. I have had the pleasure of playing paintball just once - at a bachelor party. Right before the first round of combat, a teammate (and veteran of the game) asked me if I had played before. I answered no, so he shot me in the stomach at point blank range and said, "It won't get any worse than that, so don't be a pussy." Fantastic good times! But I must admit, it's quite a business model - it's not too much money to enter the paintball "grounds" or rent a gun. Where they get you is the ammo. They charge up the wazoo for the actual paintballs, and they sell them by the thousand. I left the grounds bruised and battered and out $120. Looking back, the whole scene is ripe for someone's PhD thesis. But watching it on television, it lacked the full tilt adrenaline, the chaos, and most of all - the painful welts. Oh well, I guess it's back to bowling.