January 15, 2006


Mom has entered the Dark Side.

OK. When I first heard the plans,
I wasn't sure.
Laser Tag?
It all sounded rather sinister to me.
And fraught with danger.

Zoe had been telling me that her "real" birthday party (meaning the one with her friends and school mates) would be Laser Tag Party.

Last night, M and M confirmed that the party was on for 12:00 noon today. I had my doubts as to whether this would be a 'fun' day for Nana. Shooting people with laser guns? This doesn't sound like an activity that promotes peace to me.

Not only that. I was concerned that the glare that all the bright lights would have an effect on my already weakening night vision. The brightness from those new fangled Laser flashlights are just about overwhelming to me. Almost blinding.

Nevertheless, as a dutiful grandmother, at about lunchtime today I found myself entering the dreaded Ultrazone in Alhambra.

Not too long after arriving, I followed our pack into the 'ready room' where we strapped on heavy vests from which our 'laser guns' were attached. A moment after doing this, Mike came over and said "Mom. You have your vest on backward." He helped me put it on with the 'gun' hanging in the front rather than the back. I tightened the straps. Our group separated into teams.

I was on the "Blue" team. I listened intently to the attendant's instructions. The whole thing seemed confusing. I wasn't sure I understood the rules. I wasn't sure I would be able to see in the dark, and wasn't sure what would happen when we entered the arena....

At this point, Zoe came over and introduced me to a friend at her side and told me that this girl would be on my team. It was obvious that Zoe thought that either this child or I needed a companion. I am still not sure about whom she was most concerned.

We all entered the maze.
The game commenced.

I started to shoot at everything that moved. I shot at the other players. I shot at the lights flashing from ceilings and on the walls. I shot at the disco balls.

I moved stealthily around the corridors as fast as I could, peeking around corners and running down empty trails, looking for the telltale red lights which indicated that there was an opponent hiding in the dark.

I heard Mike call out;
"Mom. Don't shoot at your own teammates!"


All I had noticed was the big Yellow light shining from the front of the players vests, not on the colors of the lights on our shoulders. The game came to an end. We all removed our vests for the next group and exited the arena. We checked our scores. I realized that my faux pas may have cost my team a win. At this point Mike said; "Hey Mom, at least your score wasn't a negative number." There were some.

You'd think that this experience would have dampened my enthusiasm for continuing with the game. But you would have been wrong. Had you been able to listen to my excited conversation after this competition, you would have heard me telling Pete "Next time, we should buy an all day pass!"

Yes, the thrill of the game had entered my blood. Who would have thought? I could barely wait till it was our turn again.

After consuming a couple of pieces of pizza for strength, the players awaited our call. A short time later, an announcement was made that it was time for the guests at Zoe's Birthday Party to come to the ready room.

I quickly strapped on my vest, this time right side front, and prepared for combat. My inner warrior was fully engaged.

We separated into three teams and waited for instruction. I looked around, and saw that there was a lot of movement between the teams while I sat still. It was then that I noticed that the other teams had several more players than mine. The thought occurred to me that some of more alert players were trying to make sure that they were not on the same team as the crazy grandmother who couldn't tell ally from opponent.

No matter. I didn't care. This time I understood the rules better. I was ready.

This time I made sure that I didn't shoot any teammates. The game was over too soon. We checked our scores. Mike was the champion. My score was fully two hundred points lower that the previous game. Well, at least my score wasn't a negative number.

Posted by Judi at January 15, 2006 10:55 PM | TrackBack

Rock on, crazy grandmother!

Posted by: justJENN at January 17, 2006 11:24 PM
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