It is 8 o'clock at night and the fire pit is starting to slowly die out as is most of the conversation at the party except for one asshole who just won't stop beating a dead horse. The only things keeping the fire in my belly tamped is the Macanudo cigar in one hand, red keg cup of Molson Canadian in the other and the fact that everyone else is sticking up for me.
The Beginning of It.
The End of It.
It started innocently enough after a couple of games when the uncle loudly opened a post game dialog across a crowded room:
Adult: "I hit you like two times in a row and you just kept playing."
Me: "Oh wow, I'm sorry man. I swear I didn't feel anything or see you shoot me."
Multiple kids: "I didn't shot you. You shot me right in the leg/chest/helmet. That game was awesome!"
After another game:
Adult:: "That shirt must be really heavy because I shot you in the back and you just kept playing."
Me: "Oh, I'll take it off and play in my UnderArmor. I don't want anyone to think I'm cheating."
Mother: "No you will not. You're not going to take off your protection just because he say's your not playing fair. Keep your shirt on."
Adult: "I got you right in the arm in that room with all the barrels."
Me: "I swear man, you didn't hit me. A bunch of my teammates were right next to me and none of us got hit. I did get shot by a big group of kids in a hallway...
Adult: "Yeah and you just kept playing."
Me: "No, I went to the time out area for ten seconds, and came back in."
Adult 2: "Yeah I got shot at the same time, we went together."
This played out constantly after each game so you get the point and carried over into the post party.
I suppose my current state of mind is trying to find a saner place to live because at the post party, I seriously did not want to argue with this guy if I got shot or not and how many times that may or may not have happened. I had over a dozen people who all told stories about how great I played, how I moved, how I cleared rooms, how I stopped to help kids with their rifles in the game, none singing my praise louder than my dear Mighty Mo.
Maybe it was the adults, both playing and not, coming to my defense that allowed me to keep silent. They validated that in reality I lived up to the hype and some flat out said he did not shoot me. But it was annoying to have my abilities chipped away like that. Rewritten so that one dad could, I don't know, feel better about how he did, for some reason thinking that a long remembered outing for his nephew would not be remembered for how well everyone did but for the fun it was to watch me play. I suppose he follows the adage, "When no one is special, everyone is special." I never met the man before or said a cross word to him. I know we traded shots a few times but I don't think I ever hit him. Nor, honestly do I (or anyone else) think he ever hit me.
Why this somewhat gratuitous story? Because I am the 'man' at war games with people who have never fired a real gun in their life? No. Hardly. Because this translates into a lot of different areas in our lives. When you're in the zone at work, one person is always trying to bring you down a notch, saying your fed leads or the boss likes you. In life, how many people have told you that you can't do something, not because you can't, because they can't.
It is rare in life for people to stick up for you. It is unique to be respected for dominance in a sport or event, it being far easier for someone to accuse or diminish your results so eyes and ears are on their ego and not your accomplishment. I am just lucky that so many people disagreed with his position of me, so much so that I didn't need to be engaged with him and give him more of the power he wanted.
I mean, we could just go back there and see who really hits who? Right?