Laser Tag

Tonight after work the office went out for laser tag, which involves running around like idiots in a darkened space for half an hour, shooting one another with electronic guns that made whooshing noises.

This was a lot of fun, even if I did terribly badly. I haven’t tried anything gung-ho like this since the time I played paintball (back in 2004 or thereabouts, I think, where my kamikaze approach ended up with me covered in paint and out of the game pretty early). In the first round, I was 17th out of 27 people; I sank to the 18th in the second round, and then recovered in the last to lucky thirteenth. At least I’d made my way to the top half.

I think one factor in not being good at these things is that as a youth, I didn’t spend my time running around playing at soldiers. I have far more memories of sitting down in peace and quiet and reading a book, and even though I may have shrugged off this slothfulness, I’m getting better at running in straight lines, not in exploiting tactical motion across a commercial unit in the bowels of Dhoby Ghaut’s shopping malls. Oh, for a more misspent youth…

At the laser tag arena in Singapore, you’re not allowed to sit down or run or shout or push people or do pretty much anything that you might find fun. As somebody who loves shouting and pushing things and running, and sitting down, this was quite the struggle. I’m not sure if ‘fun’ is defined as ‘walking very slowly around a darkened space full of half-assembled Ikea wardrobes painted with military insignia’ but the laser tag place seems to think it is.

OK, I’ll put my hand up. The thing that annoyed me was that you couldn’t choose the name you had: I was ‘Eclipse’ or ‘Celsius’ rather than the more robust call sign that I’d have chosen for myself. (A call sign so obscene I’m not going to attempt to write it here, just working on the assumption that if your name is going to be in lights, it might as well be spelt ______ _______ the __________ing ___________ _____________.)

I forgot to drink any water today, so I felt dire even before the exertions of runningwalking at speed around the arena. When we finished, it was almost 9pm and rather than go to a bar and drink away my sorrows on a Wednesday night, it was time to go home and recharge with my wife. And so to bed…

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