I’ve been inundated with requests from people wanting to know how the stag do went. I haven’t, but humour me. It went very well, actually. My worries over what to book were largely ill-founded. Namely because by the time we got everyone together and had had a few drinks, none of us were in any fit state to do anything. I’ll be honest with you, the level we operated on sunk quite low, quite early on. In my desperate attempts to be a ‘classy’ stag do, I had underestimated how un-classy we were as a group. There’s nothing worse than a bunch of 20 year olds off their face on Babycham and rum and coke. The weekend went off without a hitch, everyone enjoyed themselves but it did teach me one valuable lesson – never play laser quest when you’re drunk.
I booked laser quest because I thought it would be silly, but mainly because it would be infinitely less painful than paint balling. I like the great outdoors – the silence, the peace, the serenity, so it baffles me why anyone would decide the perfect game to play there would be one where you fire capsules of emulsion at each other. If it’s trying re-create an army-style scenario in a safe environment then I think it would work just as well to watch Dad’s Army in a tent. Anyway, I picked laser quest – for those that don’t know what laser quest is; it’s like a lightsabre battle from Star Wars but set in a warehouse in Sheffield and kitted out by Chad Valley. I should have known it was going to be an odd affair when we turned up twenty minutes later than our arrival time, drunk, to find our opposing team waiting. Our nemeses consisted of two middle aged parents and a child in his mid-teens. OK, it’s not exactly al Qaida, but they were a fearsome bunch.
The bloke in charge had all the enthusiasm of someone who had started working there at 16 and now found he was 28 with nothing to show for himself but some cargo pants and a film studies degree. He was also pretty oblivious to the fact that most of us were slightly inebriated, to the point where we were turning the guns on ourselves before leaving the changing room. Then we went in. What followed can only be described as the biggest drugs trip I’ve ever experienced. Now, given the fact that I’ve never taken drugs, using a permanent marker for too long can set me well on the way to tripping the light fantastic, but this was something else. You’re essentially running around a darkened room, wearing a UV breast plate that lights up blue or red, waiting for a friend to come and kill you – so far so pathetic. However, having had one too many bottled lagers there was an incredibly sinister side to it. My most prevalent memories included trying to shoot a forty year old woman in the head with what can only be described as one of those scanning guns you find in Asda, running so hard into the young lad that we both fell over and lying on the floor screaming as a friend pinned me down with his foot and repeatedly ‘shot’ at me, laughing maniacally. There is nothing more hideous than considering your own mortality whilst seeing a loved one standing over you, holding a gun, illuminated with fluorescent light.
All round the experience was an eye-opener, more so for the family who’ll, no doubt, think twice before booking another Saturday afternoon activity again. I can’t speak for the others but I now feel like some sort of Vietnam veteran, getting crippling flashbacks every time I open the fridge door. It will be a long while before I play laser quest again, drunk or not.
From 10th October, 2012