The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

October 24, 2006


They're just three young teenagers out to have some innocent fun.
A couple of weekends ago, on an unbelievably frigid early October Saturday morning, my son (on the left above, his friend Alex on the right) asked if I could "drive some of the guys out to paintballing."
The father who was scheduled to drive had some car trouble. I figure all parents have to chip in, so I said sure. It was only later I found out that the paintball place was an hour outside the city I live in.
So it ended up taking my entire afternoon, but I'm glad it turned out that way. Because I was able to witness my son having the same innocent kind of fun I had as a kid, when I played guns all the time.
I realize this is politically incorrect now.
In some people's minds.
And that there a lot of PC people out there who may be shuddering in horror at the thought I would let my son participate in an activity that involved TRYING to shoot his friends.
But these are GOOD kids. They aren't out to blow up skyscrapers or shoot their schoolmates to death. They just want to have some fun. And (gasp!), you know what?
For a 14-year-old male, shooting things harmlessly is FUN.
And I want my son to have fun with his friends in activities I know about, can think about and approve of. In this case, the activity was something a bunch of visiting German exchange students begged their hosts to do.
So we did it (well, not me, I just drove and froze, but I sure wouldn't have minded).
I got a chance to get to know of my son's friends better, to be part of their lives for a couple of hours, and show my son and his friends that he meant a lot to me and the friendship he shared with them meant a lot to me.
And here's the proof that fun was had by all.


  1. I've never been paintballing, but I am assured it's lots of fun. As for being un-PC, I didn't know it was... although I suppose it's a bit like violent video games. My view is that those things let people take out their aggression harmlessly, in a fun way, and probably actually DECREASE the likelihood of them going nuts with a real gun. I played Doom when I was a kid... blowing crap up was great, but only so long as it was PIXELATED crap! I knew I wasn't really killing anybody or causing any harm.

    I have a bit of an "issue" with people who blame video games, TV, paintball, etc, for the violent actions of people in reality. I won't go into it. But it's a peeve.

  2. It certainly looks like great fun was had by all. I'm a little surprised you didn't get in on the fun too. I'm not sure I'd be able to resist.

  3. Stace:

    I've never been either, but like I said (and the guy running the place kept bugging me to try it), I sure would like to give it a go.

    Stace, you are just brilliant and grounded, and Aidan is just one hell of a fortunate guy.

    ...But only because you and I are just on the same logic wavelength. (har har har).

    No, seriously. What you said is exactly the way I thought about the whole paintballing/vid games thing.


    Glad to see you...and that good news you updated us with on your mom. Smiles and hugs.

    I was tempted, believe me...but the son's got to shine, this is his time. Dad's there in support.

    If it works, he and I and/or some buds can go another time. But these were HIS friends, HIS thing.


  4. ww, because it's you, i find myself open and able to accept both the rationale and the activity you describe. i can feel myself stretching.

    ps so glad you enjoyed seeing your son hang out. those little moments aren't little at all.


  5. KJ:

    I can feel you stretching, and I appreciate the effort you're taking on in doing so, really.

    If you had seen some of my blogs on the availability of guns or my comments on other blogs on the subject, you would see I'm totally against their rampant availability, in the U.S., Canada or anywhere else.

    But this is simple kids' fun. These guys, near as I can tell, are sentient, growing, healthy males, the kinds of people that will be running the world in the not-too-distant future.

    Hell, you and I have sure hit it off, haven't we? That's quite an honour hearing you say, "Because it's you..."

    And do you need my email address to tell me something I don't know about females in faraway lands?

    Females I've never set eyes on and who have never set eyes on me? The Blogosphere doesn't count, really...

  6. I LOVE PAINTBALL... i have had some great time laying my friends and family to waste... then sharing a few beers and making up after. Got covered in bruises from it, but i loved it.

    In regards to the statement about stace and i, i know i am a very fortunate guy. She is the one who keeps me from floating away into daydreams..

    I dont believe paint ball and animated violence is the cause of real violence, it may be a catalyst, but not the only cause.. I work on the principle pixels dont have parents.. you can shoot animated people, just be aware in real life tehy would be someones son/daughter or friend.
    Thanks for the post:)

  7. Aw shucks, guys!!!! I'm blushing!

  8. Aidan:

    You got it! Annihilating family members and loved ones would be my big goal!

    Bruises, schmoozes. You loved it, that's all that counts.

    You ARE one smitten with Stace puppy, aren't you? Realism, honesty, sharing...

    You guys already are Mr. and Mrs. Australia!


    Soak it up, baby. He's just gettin' started...and I can see what he means about keepin him floatin' away...

    What's the date again? We want a co-ordinated countdown on both your blogs to the big day...

    Plus pictures, of course. And we want to be able to send you telegrams via the blogosphere in advance to read at your wedding.

    Did I ask for an invitation yet?

  9. To go paintballing for me, means getting upset and demanding that the colors match with my outfit.

    Okay... I will take my meds now.

  10. paintball is such fun- even though i'm too chicken to get shot and stick to target shooting myself... the kids have a blast!

  11. Oh PLEASE! Politically correct what? You did not drive your son to to a shootout in the hood. I sent my son to paintball shooting when he was 10 or 11 years old with family friends half of whom were young women 15-18 and a 26 year old.

    I particularly do not care for real guns especially if it is pointed at me like it was in our trauma area when the gangs wanted to finish off the patient we were resuscitating. I doubtsthose hoodlums practiced with paintball guns.

    I think I was 4 or 5 years old when I fashioned my own toy gun out of a guava twig. My brother and I attached rubber bands and elastic and made a spring lever to shoot little pebbles and nuts.

  12. 25th of november, if you are in melbourne let us know....

  13. Anonymous8:57 a.m.

    As long as they don't start saying things like, "I love the smell of napalm in the morning", it's all good.

  14. Good for you. I so agree about this being harmless fun! My film partner and I made a documentary short on paintballing (to explore "does it encourage violence in kids?"). Result was a resounding NO ... everyone stressed their respect for life, this was just a game.

    ... but it hurt like hell when I got hit in the tush, and my partner collapsed in laughter as I ran around ow-ow'ing. Join them next time!

  15. Awaiting:

    No, I love it! We could organize a co-ed group outing, a dressed to the hilt color-coded encounter.

    Depending on what a person was wearing, they could only be shot at by someone who had the right color paintball that would match the target's ensemble.

    We could establish an annual North American Bloggers Paintball Championship Tournament, to be alternately hosted in Canada and the U.S.

    I'll start working on it.


    Looks like I had nothing to worry about with my references to political correctness (as you can see from most other comments so far).

    I just felt I had to acknowledge that some people might not approve, and argue why I did.

    Don't be chicken!


    So you have some of your own misplaced kid aggression, then (just kidding).

    Yeah, sometimes we just have to let kids live and have fun, as long as the context is right.



    Thanks, but I'm probably working nights that weekend and my son's birthday is two days after.

    Unless I can pop in on Spaceship Orion, hover about a bit, land, propose a toast, give you both a hug and then be off, I'm going to have to send a telegram.


    Nice to see you again. We had already shown them the mandatory napalm/nuke vids in advance, so I think we're OK on that score.


    Fantastic! Actual, professional, proven proof that this is a harmless activity (and I would argue, beneficial)!

    Thanks for wading in. Hope the tush is OK.

  16. Does he want to buy a paintball gun? Hardly ever used. Cost £750 but would accept £350.

    Jack has 2. He also has 2 suckers for grandparents. I was furious. I will say no more on the subject.

    ( PS. It is great fun. My only issue is with the cost, not the activity itself)

  17. Cherry:

    750 pounds? Gasp! Does it fire gold-plated paint? Are you sure it's not a real AK-47?

    Thanks, but I don't figure my guy is going to get into this all that big-time. He's a very peaceful chap, really.

    I might buy it for myself, tho...I enjoy blowing people to smithereens...

  18. So the kids are calling it "paintballing" now . . . .

  19. Anonymous11:44 p.m.

    paintball!!!! So damn cool! it feels like a massage...

  20. My sis went to one with her friends...apparently they had so much fun. Im not so sure abt it tho - as u know I dun like shooting etc even for fun :)

    Pics looks cool..see u when I get back WW TC n hugggggggz!


  21. The thought of being hit with paint seems oddly terrifying -arrghh!!! -it would freak me out knowing that someone was out to get me with paint -haha. Agree with awaiting -the colours would have to match.Colour co-ordination is what it's all about. Forget about eye-hand co-ordination ;).

  22. FE:

    What did they used to call it?


    I've never done this paintballing thing, but I imagine it would rank on the "extreme" massage scale, no?


    Have a great trip in NZ!


    So are you saying we should make the planned color co-ordinate paintball tourney international then?

  23. Sorry WW. After all those radish comments the past few days, I've developed a Vicus-like tendency to assign the smuttiest possible innuendo to the most innocent of comments or phrases.


If you choose to use anonymous to comment, it is only fair that I reserve the right to obliterate your comment from my blog.