Backstory: My good friend Z's step-mother died of breast cancer a few months ago. I've known Z since high school and I know that we share a common attribute: anger as a kneejerk reaction to grief. When I heard the news one of the first sentences out of my mouth was (after the requisite condolences) was, "Well...wanna so shoot some shit?"
He did. So we did.
For all our bravado leading up to this weekend we were both totally nervous, which surprised us both. When we walked in we tried really hard to look nonchalant. Then, as we stood in line and tried to look cool we overheard a bearded employee very seriously tell the father and son in front of us, "Now, you're gonna wanna use the restroom before you shoot this gun." Z and I turned to each other and stared wide-eyed without speaking. Should we go to the bathroom? Did we dare? I decided we'd be okay, mostly because I didn't want to call attention to myself by running to the bathroom and crying and/or throwing up.
A very nice and very tiny woman greeted us with a smile when we got to the counter.
"Non-member?" She asked cheerily.
"How did you know?" I asked.
"The huge smiles on your faces." She responded with a friendly laugh.
"Oh," I thought, "What a very nice woman! This isn't so scary at all!" Then as she handed me the application form I realized that she had a hook for a hand. As I handed her my drivers licence I suppressed the desire to wonder if she had shot her hand off and reconsidered my decision not to use the restroom.
Once we'd waived away our rights to sue if we shot our faces off another nice man helped us pick out our gun. We told him we had never shot a gun before and he gave us approximately 20 seconds of safety lessons, including such tips as "point the gun downrange," and "don't walk in the line of fire." We were smart enough to ask how to load the gun otherwise he wouldn't have shown us. Then we picked out two of the more-offensive shadowy figures to shoot at (Tactical Encounters 4 and 5), put on our eye protection and were on our way.
I'm so bad-ass I match the shooting range
I'm not gonna lie, folks: it was totally awesome. A crack shot I am not but I did hit Tactical Encounter No. 4 in his jaunty beret several times (I was aiming for his right eye, but whatever). I got Tactical Encounter No. 5 right in his jugular.
This is before I shot the shit out of No. 4's beret.
We went through two boxes of ammo, taking turns loading and firing the full clip. When we turned in the gun and our shell casings we still had the shit-eating grins on our faces but the fear was edged out a little by pride and wonder. Nice Hook-Hand lady asked us cheerily if we'd had a good time. "YES," we responded.
Then we got hotcakes and skillet breakfasts.