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22
Apr 01
Sun

Paintball

A bundle of aching joints and sore muscles are testament to another day at paintball. Last Friday saw a group of about 30 of us head off for Paintball Pete’s at Mount White (up North near Woy Woy). Shen, who organised the entire thing had decided to take a gamble on the venue where we hadn’t played before. Unfortunately, the gamble did not pay off and Pete’s turned out to be the worst of the three fields we’ve now been to. Its claim to be the closest field to Sydney was unfounded, the leisurely drive taking an hour on the way up, and 100 minutes on the not so leisurely way back (traffic!). About 20 headed off from Strathfield (15 arriving fashionably late despite threats of a $5 surcharge for late arrivals by Paintball Pete himself), 10 from Hornsby, under the cover of some grey, angry looking overcast skies.

Anyhow, as I was driving off with a friend when I got a call on my mobile. It was Doz.

“Hey man, you’ve got room in your car right?”
“Yeah, why?”
“You’re gonna have to give me and George a lift.”
“Uh, why?”
“Our car battery’s flat.”

Around I turned and picked them up. Turns out that they had to jumpstart the car that morning. The 20 minute drive to Strathfield didn’t recharge the dodgy battery, though, and thus the car was now stranded in the 1-hour carpark. By the time we thought about leaving a note on the windscreen for the parking inspector, we were out of town. Oh well. Doz called his dad who expressed concern not about a parking ticket, but that the car might be stolen. This resulted in much laughter. Woe be to the thief that tries to steal a car with a flat battery (unless he has a spare set of leads or car battery in his pockets).

Pete’s is a small, ragged paintball outfit. Their prices are competitive, but there’s a tradeoff for that. We all pulled up at the Mt White Village Store, where our entourage of cars then headed off to the actual paintball fields – some 12 km down a sideroad, half of it which was unsealed. Briefing was conducted by Mandy, a woman with an unhealthy fixation about ball cleaning (“I’m the best ball cleaner on the Central Coast! You damage your balls, I’ll clean ’em for ya!”). After a few too many groan-inducing puns regarding testicles, we took to the fields. Pete’s only has 5 fields, and we had the opportunity to play a mere 3 of them. The drizzle turned dirt to mud and the presence of generous amounts of cow shit on the fields made any form of rapid movement perilous (part of the fun I tell you! As long as you don’t do a faceplant into a pile of something that looks like mud but looks distinctly organic). Unfortunately, gameplay was restricted by the rather dubious “5 meter rule” that had never been used on any other paintball field we had played at. This effectively meant that one man could hole himself behind a barricade indefinitely, even against a battalion of people, as approaching within 5 meters of a player was a no-no. That is exactly what happened. One capture the flag scenario saw our team moving into the opposing base with about 8 people. The other team had two left, cowering behind barricades. Of course, an en masse rush would have crushed them, but we weren’t allowed to do that. We couldn’t go around either – the right barricade was too close to the side line (less than 5m away from it) so we couldn’t flank around there. The left barricade was too close to a creek (and no one felt like wading around waist deep in water in this weather). Five minutes later and the only attrition occurring was on our nerves and the game ended without result. The 5m rule sucks. Free lunch at Pete’s was a cold one, and we all stopped playing soon after. I can’t recommend this field. It’s not the closest field to Sydney. Heartbreak Ridge near Blacktown is still the most professional bunch, and that’s where we’ll be going next time.

But wait, there’s more. The car drama didn’t end there. We arrived back at Strathfield – Doz’s car hadn’t been booked by the cops yet. Lucky. After rummaging through a few friends’ garages, we discovered no one had a set of jacks for jumpstarting. The local servo didn’t have one either (!). Strathfield seemed to be devoid of the damn cables. So, Shen drove Doz back to his home in Ashfield, called a mechanic, and fetched a set of leads there. They rested for about an hour (yes, you feel pretty buggered after paintball and a long drive) and headed back to Strathfield. There at the car park, a scene not unlike the following ensued:

Doz: Dude, where’s my car?
George: Where’s your car dude?
Doz: Dude, where’s my car?
George: Where’s your car dude?
Doz: Not funny dude. Dude, where’s my car?
George: Where’s your car dude?
Doz: Fuck.
George: Are you fucking serious?
Asian Woman: And then?

And then… “maybe they towed my car away?” Or maybe not – a call to the RTA revealed that they do not tow cars away from car parks. That left only one other possibility… As of yet we still do not know where the car has vanished to. But if you’re in Strathfield, keep your eye out for a seedy looking guy running around with a spare set of jumper leads and a car battery down the back of his pants. He’s a car thief.

  6:00pm (GMT +10.00)  •  Life  •   •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment