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Old 12-23-2010, 10:55 PM
131SteckTastic131 131SteckTastic131 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 302

The last one from HB:

Almost Back Home

I know one thing for sure, airports are not comfortable. I am still new to flying and have yet to catch a break; from the queasy time I spent over the Rockies to getting an extra pat down when I forgot to take off my hoody during the security check, or just ask the poor stranger that has to pick me up at Newark Int. Airport because I didn’t think about transportation back to my car that’s parked two hours away. Nevertheless, I find my self quite content in this cheap “pleather” chair, gnawing on my more then stale pastry, catching looks from all the passengers boarding the 1567 flight to Houston. I can’t blame em’, I must be one hell of a sight right now, and their eyes are probably just following their noses. I reek of alcohol and three day old clothes, which explains my cool buzz and the neglecting teammate that so far this morning had his “Droid” almost permanently placed in his damn ear leaving me virtually to my own thoughts, which is never a good thing. Not after another night with lingerie bars, hotel parties, and meowing waitresses. Not even a solid hour of sleep was able to shake the drunk out of my head or the Jaeger in my breath.

It’s close to six thirty am Pacific standard time on a Monday morning, which means yesterday was Sunday, A.K.A. Finals in the Paintball world. The Scrubs made quarterfinals which in part, accomplished our goal. The goal was to play well and put our mark on the pump community, but we got a ways to go till we make any sort of impact.
However, just knowing we made quarter finals Saturday night made waking up yesterday morning terrific and I was animated about what we could accomplish by days end. I was excited, hung over and all, to wake up early on a Sunday when I’m not playing to wipe hits and fill pods, quite unusual to say the least. I slide on my supposedly white but now yellow flip-flops, my green and yellow team shirt, and a pair of broken sunglasses that I bought a few days earlier on the beach, all of which had a particular amount of paint and sand. We all hopped in the shaggin’ wagon and took off for the coast. Although I wasn’t playing, that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to enjoy winning if a Scrub player hangs a flag. Today was our day and nobody was going to take it from us.

We didn’t know who exactly we were going to be playing, but it was either going to be the LA Hitmen or Blitz. Shortly after we started strutting into the player pits we ran into a few Hitmen players and the consensus among them had us as their opponent. We try not to size up teams, so in return we always play the best kind of paintball against our opponents regardless of their speculative skill level, but everybody knows the Hitman are a handful. We were still confident though; we had a real close game with them yesterday and mopped up their second team afterwards. We had no reason to second guess ourselves. To be honest, if we had won, this pastry would taste a hell of a lot better. Nevertheless, the danish is still stale and the LA Hitmen are a much better team then us. Two straight games and our hopes for tournament glory were over. I can crouch here in my chair, type in a bunch of shit to justify our lost, but we all know everything looks questionable on the sidelines and I hate sore losers just as much as I do cocky assholes. Nope, we were just another team that lost to the Hitmen, like a grain of sand on the never ending beach of defeat, mixed in with all the other grains that had to watch the Hitmen hang the flag on their station. What does it take to beat these guys? Practice and hard work, so the cliché says and seeing how many months we have till Vegas we should have plenty of time to prepare for our rematch.

We didn’t spend much time in the pits after that, packed up our shit, shook hands and left. I supposed that would be the last paintball themed entertainment until pro finals, which usually plays at the end of the day. For once we had a chance to cruise the beach and take in California-if only for a little while. I got shin deep in the Pacific Ocean, and watched a man pound a nail into his navel cavity. I saw another crazy man dance and a questionably sane man taunt him for doing so. We walked the pier, stared out into the ocean, as many tourists do, and take in the fresh air, salt and all. While I stood there listening to the waves crash into the columns that support the pier and the seagulls that pester all those who are trying to enjoy their moment, I was reminded of home. The little trips my friends and I took during summer breaks, stealing change out of our parent’s car the night before to buy bus tickets for the next day’s adventure. Twenty minutes after paying for our seat, we were bursting out that coach and crashing the shore, jumping the boardwalk to avoid the beach taggers and taking in the Atlantic surf hours at a time. Just me and my boys, raging havoc on the “shoobies”.

It didn’t take long for me to like California, in many ways it’s just like New Jersey, however I still found a clear distinction in the mood and behavior. Relaxed, just laid back. Thinking like a tourist helped comfort us after the lost and in a way re-focused our perspective on the success we achieved. We took off from the pier, starved and parched and found a burger joint on Main St. just off the sand. The building was a tiny structure and turquoise blue in the spots that weren’t covered in old surf stickers and contest posters. The entire place was maybe 30 square feet and sandwiched in between two massive corporate surf shops. I had imagined the beach rat that owns this shack gave a giant middle finger to both companies and told them to fuck off when they tried to buy his property, I loved that. The staff was represented by a cute cashier that was 5 feet four maybe, with sun dried blonde hair and a big rack. The food was fantastic and worth the cramped eating space. Don’t waste your time at an “In n Out”, drive another ten minutes up to the coast and find the blue shack with all the stickers and thank me later.

Enough time had passed and we returned back to the NPPL’s venue to watch Pro finals, and consequently watch myself get kicked out of the player pits. I couldn’t help myself to cheer in Nicky Cuba’s defeat, I know what it feels like to let down your whole team but at that moment the Philly fan inside of me decided to make its presence known. In the end Dynasty won, and the day was over. We left the beach but this time it was final, and headed back to the hotel.

Before you know it we were in a nice restaurant, believe it or not, enjoying the company of a pretty waitress and analyzing our micro brewed beers, looking like a normal group of guys out on the town but uh....that’s not us. We can’t keep the trashy and almost immature behavior, the behavior that makes this team unique and fun, from protruding though what ever veneer we had going for us sitting at that table. Before our food even came, we were already confronting coke freaks and telling cute waitress horrible pickup lines. Shortly after that we slinked back to a series of dark lit lingerie bars which filled the rest of our night with Jaeger, whiskey, meowing waitresses, turnpike shots, and vomit before we made it back to the hotel. Of course, wouldn’t ya know our next-door neighbors had beer and weed taking me even deeper into the night. I don’t know how I woke up this morning, but thank god for small miracles right?

I can see my flight is getting ready to board, and for once Andrew doesn’t have a phone to his ear. I guess we had a good start to our season, plenty of paintball left to play though and fans to win over. We are still aiming high, and don’t plan on falling short. Me personally, I just can’t wait for Vegas. To me right now Vegas means more then partying, acid, and hookers. To me Vegas represents another chance to redeem ourselves, hopefully the pastries in the desert won’t be as stale.
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