Making a bloody mess
Paintball is all about speed, accuracy, teamwork and concentration. Being physically fit won’t hurt either.
With all this in mind, my first foray into the sport was nothing but a total mess.
Along with my partner in hijinks, photographer Nigel Browne, I decided to “try a ting” after highlighting paintball for my Street Beat column.
Being a marksman, Browne has no issues with either a camera or a marker. My experience with aiming and firing at moving targets went no further than the digital realm, so I was in way over my head. Still, it sounded like fun and a new experience. Besides, it couldn’t go as badly as my foray into hiking. Oh how wrong I was. Admittedly, I had that feeling of being a soldier after putting on the mask and receiving my marker, a large one affectionately dubbed with a nickname best left out of print. Having strapped on the chest plate and getting the mini camera on top of the mask turned on like they do on television, I was good to go, feeling like the eager sportsman. But I am no sportsman, and paintball involves quite a bit of running and even some jumping – not my forte.
I participated in the first skirmish of the evening as part of a three-man team with Nigel as the nonparticipating photographer. That, however, did not stop him from getting clipped – but I digress.
Referee Kevin Norville read out the instructions and we were ready to go. One of the top players, aptly named Rambo, was on the opposite team but my strategy was all worked out. After all, I had done it in such popular video games as Halo 3 and Breath Of The Wild. How hard could it be? It was all about taking cover and patiently waiting until some poor soul gets in my sights and literally paint them. Simple.
Things, however, went terribly wrong from the outset, as the terrain was on a small hill and to get to the best cover you had to get to the top. As I started going up, the mask felt like a plastic bag wrapped around my head.
There was no way I was making it to the centre where there was a wall structure, but I did manage to hobble behind some bush. Turns out bush is not very good cover, as something soon flew across and hit my knee. I thought that was it but the paintball didn’t break, so I lived on.
Scrambling up higher – putting myself at greater risk of a heart attack – I slipped on some wet grass and settled in an indentation, where I found myself trapped. As I tried to escape, my hand touched something stringy – it was a web and above me was a large spider scurrying away – how nice.
On the ground, out of breath and ready to call it a day, I heard “surrender!” The command was from a member of the opposing force who had sneaked up on me – you are not allowed to shoot the markers at close range. So, I was out, thank God.
I sat out the next game but grudgingly agreed to join Nigel for the third. This time, Rambo was on our side, so I scurried behind distant cover and stayed there, taking potshots while the two elite team members took care of business.
As with hiking, I was encouraged to return as paintball is supposedly also fun while providing exercise. But, also like with hiking, the jury is still out on an encore.
GO to the High Court.
That was the advice of Magistrate Wanda Blair to attorneys for Dewayne Carlo Griffith, who appeared before her yesterday in the Holetown Magistrates’ Court.
And that, said attorney Arthur Holder, is exactly what he plans to do to secure bail for the man who is accused of assaulting, resisting and obstructing top cop, Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith.
Griffith, 39, of Stroud Bay, Crab Hill, St Lucy, made his first appearance before the St James court where he maintained his not guilty pleas to the October 28 charges. He had originally appeared before the District “D” Magistrates’ Court and had been remanded to prison to appear at the Holetown court yesterday.
Assistant Superintendent Trevor Blackman maintained the prosecution’s objection to bail, but defence attorney Shadia Simpson argued that the accused should be treated like anyone who was accused of assault.
“At the end of the day, a complainant is just a complainant,” she said.
However, Magistrate Blair said she considered the allegations to be serious, especially given that the complainant was the Commissioner of Police.
“You can go elsewhere,” the magistrate told Simpson.
“Mr Griffith, your bail is denied,” she then told the accused as she remanded him to HMP Dodds until December 7.
However, Holder later declared: “We are going to the High Court for bail in respect of Dewayne Griffith. That is what we will be doing.”
“It is who these persons are,” he added as he accused the media of prejudicing his client.