Saturday, June 26, 2010

Thing 74 Face a Firing Squad (by Token Northy)

If you have a problem, if no one else can help,
and if you can find them...

Hello all. I am, apparently, Token Northy, but since we are in the North for a few glorious days and the Project Manager is the token southy (not entirely sure if thats a word) he's asked me to do a guest blog. I think this is due to him wanting to get as many cheap pints into him as possible, coupled with the fact that he wasn't entirely sure if I was joking when I told him the Stormont assembly had dropped the standard QWERTY keyboard in favour of the Belfast BOUT'YE?!
He's very particular about his spelling and grammar don't you know.

The venue was Camp Predator near Drumaness in the beautiful county Down. The PM and I had been here before a little over a year ago, so this couldn't be his Thing for the day. We had to escalate. But we'll come back to that.

Predator bills itself as "Irelands Best Airsoft Site", which, while true, was also the cue for much hilarity when Pony Boy saw this printed on a huge sign and responded with "How can it be Irelands best anything? It's in England". Honestly, I could have cried laughing. There's apolitical, there's indifferent, there's just plain stupid, and then there's Pony Boy.

Anyway, we spent today playing airsoft, which is like paintball only much faster, much more realistic, and much more fun.The basic premise is that the friendly, professional, and forgiving guys who work at Predator give you your gear, teach you the rules and how your gun works, and how to stay safe. All of this you listen to and obey. They then divide you into teams and tell you the objective, and the rules of each individual game, and give you advice on tactics. Most of this you forget almost immediately and run about wildly shooting friend and foe for a while 'til the adrenaline wears off and you can actually start to act the part.

...maybe you should still reconsider using these guys.

Speaking of acting the part, its worth noting that Top Cat (the handsome divil above on the left) may actually have found his Shangri-La in airsofting. For a man who was worried before we arrived that people would fall out with him for being crap, he very quickly got the gist and got more and more excited as the day went on until he was literally (no, I don't mean figuratively, I mean literally) skipping gleefully through the bushes shooting and laughing and telling everyone how much fun he was having. The man actually surrendered to the other team at one point to barter for amnesty because they looked like they were having MORE fun than his team and he couldn't bear the thought that absolutely any fun he might possibly be having at any given moment could go to waste. I definitely saw him get shot in the ass once and smile even more because of it. I don't think he'd ever felt more alive.

The Man shows off his war wounds. Chicks love guys with scars.

So while we spent the day charging round like ten year olds shooting each other with toy guns, there was a Thing to be accomplished. What could be more memorable than facing a firing squad? I'd wager anyone who ever had the opportunity remembered it vividly til their dying day. So with a little coaxing and a lot of promising that we wouldn't shoot him in the nuts, the Project Manager agreed that it would be an experience worthy of Listhood.

In true cliché style, he was marched to the central square of the village, hands tied behind his back, blindfolded, and allowed one last cigarette while he stood alone for a few precious, fleeting minutes before the sharp crack of death would take him...

I'd like to think they were delicious minutes, filled with bittersweet memories of better times, but he was probably prevented from slipping softly into reverie by the sounds of ten bloodthirsty hooligans casually arguing over how many of us were allowed to shoot him, how many times
each, and of course the all important Question: Where to shoot?

The gentleman's code prevented a crotch shot of course, but since we hadn't brought any gentlemen the PM had begged like a little girl that we aim elsewhere and we had begrudgingly agreed. The face though, seemed taboo in the sense that the man was willing to face us down, so probably deserved the dignity of not having to go to hospital for his trouble. The throat was mentioned at least once. Someone apparently favoured the shoulder for a good solid contact. I'm pretty sure Pony Boy thought it was obligatory that someone shoot him in the knee. Several remarks were made about how much it would sting to shoot him in the love handles...

In the end all ten lined up, ten or so paces from the victim, with the understanding that we could shoot where we wished, but only once, so to make it count. I felt a massive surge of guilty pleasure shouting "Ready...Aim... FIRE!", and a wave of pride as a hail of white pellets simultaneously coalesced and slammed into his chest. Honestly, I don't think there could have been two shots more than 3 inches from his heart. The poor fella rocked with the impact. We all stood still and silent for a split second, almost but not quite shocked at the savage beauty of it all. Then he squealed like a pig and we broke ourselves laughing.

More Things like this please. The sadistic streak in me loves it.

ps. There were some very good photos of the actual firing squad, but we don't have them at the minute. Im sure the PM will post them up soon


  1. Very good, one thing though a lil hard to read black against the blue backround :S

  2. yea this was brill, but bit worried about how much pleasure u all took in this!! poor dan, poor dan, another marty for auld ireland, dan mooney from parteen (with very very man apologies to sean south)

  3. Excellent Blog, nice guest appearance. The event was well laid out and everyone acted accordingly. A gentlemans agreement if ever there were one. Fair play to Token Northy for taken the hit, it must have been quiet the experience.