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Seeing Red (and pink and green and blue ...)

November 14, 2006|by ELIZABETH KRAMER

When I heard the word "paintball," I thought of incredibly coordinated guys running around and shooting little bubbles of paint at each other. But it looked fun, and I wanted to try it.

So when we had the opportunity to test the new paintball arena at Family Recreation Park, I gladly decided to give it a shot. (Ha-ha.)

After receiving a visor and gun, I calmly looked around and noticed that everyone was wearing hooded sweatshirts, or at least long sleeves, except for me. I asked one of them about it, and they explained that if you wore sleeves, you didn't get welts, and that the hood kept strangely colored paint from getting in your hair.

Knowing that I had neither sleeves nor a hood, I contemplated buying a homecoming dress to match my hair, which would in all probability be dyed a vibrant shade of pink by the end of the game.

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Family Rec employee Robert Simpson told us the official rules of paintball, which included humorous notes such as "no taking prisoners" and "no hand-to-hand combat." We also learned the useful rules, such as if you're shot with paint, you're out. But if you get hit by a paintball and it doesn't explode, you're still in.

After an eventful game of running, hiding, shooting teammates and trying to figure out where everyone was, we got a chance to play a team of pros. Yes, there is such a thing as professional paintball. Needless to say, the 10 of us lost against the four professionals, horribly. But it was still fun.

Family Rec is closed for this season. Got to www.famrecpark.com for updated information on prices and opening dates in the spring.

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