Assuming you’re male (not to prejudge ALL women, but our penis-less friends generally don’t seem as interested in shooting things although they are of course fairly impossible to fathom and I wouldn’t even begin to try and enter the labyrinthine psyche that is Womanhood) and assuming you’re heterosexual (again, not to stereotype -he says while doing so- but there seems to be a great dearth of your common homegrown USA-style bullshit machismo in our limper-wristed, better smelling brothers)…
Well, then assuming all this, my male hetero-brethren, you KNOW you’re dying to go tromping through the mud blasting stinging balls of toxic goop at the groins and faces of your family members and loved ones.
I sure as hell knew my little guy would be. He’s fairly obsessed with executing soldiers of all shapes, sizes and nationalities in Call of Duty on Xbox (yes, I’m highly torn about this… don’t get me started!) but doing it at least semi for-real is of course a whole different matter.
We went to cash in our $50 of Groupon at the Staten Island branch of Cousins Paintball on that gorgeous last day of our public school’s spring break, what with me wanting to give the lil’ guy a special treat he’d really enjoy before returning him to the grueling rigors of Brooklyn Public School. The mood that morning, I imagined, held something different than the standard busy weekend-morn would have. There was a laid-back almost mid-summer vibe as the blinged out, hip hop-lite kids of Shaolin filled up the peaceful backyard staging area before entering battle.
Of course, urban outer-borough teens ranging from 7-16 years of age (Groupon’s 10 year old minimum requirement is apparently enforced by the same people who enforce the “No Ice Cream Truck Music while parked for 20 minutes Outside Your Building” law) means several things but one major thing in particular: Language. And when I say “Language,” I mean, “LANGUAGE.”
I mean, SuperDuperKid’s mom could make a drunken sailor blush, seeing how she teaches in a rough school just south of Broadway in the non-trendy section of Williamsburg. Still, there’s something about teens just beginning to open up and explore all the far-reaching nooks and crannies of their newfound world of profanity that rendered their particular slant on it new and intriguing for SDK.
It was definitely an “oy vey” situation, especially for a dad like me who is often heard to blurt out, “Son of a mother-loving birch!” rather than curse in front of my son all the time. I just don’t like admonishing him to do something while I repeatedly do the opposite, even though I feel that of course there is a place for cussin’ in the adult lexicon.
Still, it should be noted: Every single kid was courteous and pleasant, one 12 year old even inviting us to sit with his family when he saw we were not with a group.
To the meat of the matter: paintball at Cousins, as the kids put it, is “mad fun.”
Although I left with multiple welts, not realizing until it was too late that one was supposed to exit after being shot, I had a great time ducking, dodging and strafing 14 year olds with the blistering pellets. And of course, SDK was in heaven, traipsing about the makeshift war-zones, strewn with bunkers and shelter, as he fired round after round at complete strangers.
The only thing to mar our visit, and it was no small matter, was that Cousins’ ran out of the CO2 the weapons use to propel their ammo. The rag-tag assemblage of employees claimed a new shipment was arriving any minute (probably, possibly, supposedly) but after several hours of hanging out enjoying the lovely weather (and the not-so-lovely porta-johns), we were told, along with dozens of other customers, to get a refund and return another day.
To their credit, the mostly personable and not-as-gormless-as you’d expect post-teens who run the place were genuinely apologetic. Nonetheless it was disappointing to play a few games and then end so soon. We were given back our Groupons, which meant we’d essentially been given two sessions for the (half) price of one, not a bad deal.
And next time we’d be veterans, battle-hardened and strategically primed.
So after placing a call to insure the Co2 level is up to par, I can highly recommend you hop onto the BQE and head on over to Cousins for some thrilling paintball. I really can’t think of any more enjoyable way to blend pleasure and pain (in a kid-friendly way, that is.)
You’ll have a foul-mouthed blast! Unless, of course, you’re a woman or gay.
Official SuperDuperDad Yay or Nay Verdict: Definite yay but you should absolutely call first to confirm they’re fully stocked with Co2!
Details: Kids will want to wear at least one thick layer of clothing all around to protect from the stinging paintballs. It can cause welts and is certainly more painful than a snap by a rubber band, despite what one employee claimed.
Also it’s supposedly better with large groups.