Weekend in Review (7-9 December) My Life 10 DEC 2007

Paintball GirlLike I mentioned earlier, I started Friday on already flat batteries. Thank goodness I had a half day on Friday, because I dragged myself through work and then raced home and promptly jumped into bed, only to wake up (only slightly more refreshed) at 15:00. Luckily for me, Chantelle had done all the cleaning from the previous night’s party before she left for work, meaning that I could then proceed to pretty much work the rest of Friday away, coding on my SAN Access application as well as squeezing in some Scarface: The World is Yours every now and then.

The only time I popped out of the house was later in the evening when I nipped round to Ryan’s place, basically because I needed to print out a Discovery Claims from that I had concocted during the day and wished to submit the next morning. He printed the page, we discussed the plans for the duel bachelors on Saturday, and then ended the visit off with a quick game of NBA Jam. Well, whoever had conspired against me earlier in the week was long gone, as Lady Luck was firmly entrenched on my side. Steal after steal, I soon had Ryan on the ropes, beating him by almost 30 points in the end. Shame, the poor guy was throwing his controller around and swearing at the TV like a sailor, and to add insult to injury, I even managed to inadvertently cover him in snot as a full-blown sneeze caught me unawares and before I could turn away or cover my nose, I hosed the poor fellow down. Needless to say he was not impressed and I beat a hasty exit.

Saturday morning I got up bright and early, firm in my resolve to hit the gym thanks to skipping out the last couple of week nights due to other commitments. So I joined up with Ryan and Pops for a couple of games of squash (and did a spot of training in the off game periods too!), even managing to win a game or two which was fairly surprising because I wasn’t tearing around the court like a mad thing (and of course I’m thinking they were probably being nice to me). I took it pretty easily, didn’t sprint after anything – which seemed to do the trick as my knee didn’t give me any hassles, much to my relief.

The rest of the morning was pretty much spent on SAN Access again, with a couple of household chores tossed in just to rub salt in the wound. Of course all this work didn’t last for long, because come 11:45, Ryan, Pops and I started the trek for our big adventure of the day.

Riley’s bachelors was kicking off with Paintball at the Tokai paintball range, and so we duly headed out to this picturesque part of the world, battling traffic, crappy unmarked roads and horses, eventually making it to the range through sheer luck and the fact that Riley is tall enough to be used as a distinct and easily recognizable landmark.

We joined up with the sizeable group of Riley’s mates and began the long wait until the start of the games. It turned out that because our group wasn’t quite large enough, that we needed to be paired with two other groups. Co-incidentally, one of the groups we were waiting for was in fact also a bachelor’s party and the other group happened to be a group of females off on a girls’ day out. Unfortunately, these two groups were running late and we ended up waiting well over an hour longer than what we were meant to, impacting horribly on Ryan’s and my plan of duel bachelorship attendance. And if that wasn’t frustrating enough, the entire briefing and handing out of equipment took ages as well, meaning we only started our gaming session much, much later than planned.

Of course it didn’t help that it was as hot as hell out in Tokai (a gorgeous, gorgeous day) and the army jacket and paintball face mask was not making it any cooler. The three groups were mixed together and then split into a yellow and red team which would then play together for the rest of the afternoon’s activities. Riley got dealt into the yellow team, meaning the entire party wanted to be on the red team in order to shoot the hell out of him, but unfortunately there just didn’t seem to be enough red bibs :)

As it was, Ryan, Pops and I ended up on the same team as Riley (and co-incidentally the other bachelor as well), meaning we were actually a lot safer because we had the walking target nearby – all we had to do was stay off a little ways from him. And when I say walking target, I do mean walking target. Just before we were to kick off, Brian (Riley’s best man and organizer of the day) handed him a bright yellow car guard bib to wear – meaning that he really did stick out like a sore thumb. Funnily enough, the other party had the same idea – except they made their man wear a very bright orange jumpsuit!

As for the games themselves, we the yellow team had our assess royally handed to us in every single game we played. The red team completely overpowered us in every aspect of the game, making us look even worse than amateurs. In fact, the only thing we did seem good at was getting shot (and hiding behind trees). We played a couple of rounds of Capture the Flag and Ambush, managing to lose every single round in an extremely convincing manner. And I have the bruises to prove it. I have bruises on my chest, back and legs, and even a nice swelling on my head where a shot caught me as I was checking my shoulder to see if a previous hit had broken.

We played for well over two hours in the baking sun, dodging from pine tree to pine tree and ducking and weaving through some rather unfriendly terrain. My knee took a little strain from all the mucking about, but it was so worth it. There is something primal about emptying out bullet after bullet on an unsuspecting foe and I can see just why Paintball is such a popular activity. Unfortunately, thanks to the very late start, Ryan and I couldn’t finish the session as we needed to duck and go out to the start of Dean’s festivities. It’s a real pity because it really would have been good to take part in the duck shoot on poor old Riley and his best men. I still think dressing him up in a bunny suit would have been more suitable for that session though :)

So thanks to this unfortunate scheduling clash, I missed out on the rest of Riley’s festivities, so I am kind of jealous, but hey, these things happen. I’m pretty sure the guys must have made it quite an evening to remember!

Dean’s do kicked off with a spot of go-kart racing out in Kennilworth, organized by Mark who just arrived out of London. He had rounded up the old gang (except for Merkaba who bailed on us) and got a couple of his old pals to make up the numbers for the lead in to an exciting race extravaganza – not that Ryan, myself or Dean put up any challenge whatsoever to the more experienced (and daredevil) riders out there. We were more the …Driving Miss Daisy’ kind of racers in the end I’m sad to report.

Actually the karting was really fun. The last time I did this was back when we took Karl out for his 21st (I think) and that’s a good four or five years ago! As it was, the first race was pretty much a fact finder mission for me as I got comfortable with the track and the kart, meaning I didn’t do well at all. But the second race I had come to grips with everything and managed to put in a much better time this time around.

In the end, only Evan and George put up a fight against Mark’s mates but the evening was not destined to end well for George as he had his radio stolen out of his parked car while we were inside racing!

After we had all recovered and has full use of our arms and hands again at last, a plan was hatched that involved going for a late supper at Cattle Baron in Durbanville. Ryan and I took a quick detour though, stopping at my flat for a shower – by that time I was as crusty and smelly as an old dried out hiking boot!

Refreshed and ready to go, we headed out and joined up with the guys for an entertaining dinner at one of the best Cattle Baron restaurants in the Western Cape (in my always humble opinion). We spent the rest of the night talking crap and putting Mark into uncomfortable situations and I think that everyone had a pretty good time. Of course, if you are thinking that this doesn’t sound like a bachelors at all, then you are right. It’s just that Dean and a lot of the guys aren’t really like that, so we kept it civilized and pretty (Unlike Riley who at this stage was probably wearing a G-string and tied to a lamppost somewhere in Cape Town I would imagine).

Okay, this post is dragging on now, so a quick-fire look at Sunday then. Squash in the morning with the boys again (hurt my knee a little though), worked on SAN Access for most of the day, squashed in a little Scarface for entertainment purposes and also did grocery shopping, Tygervalley style – this made up the bulk of the day, but as simple as I make it sound, it was actually pretty tough because I was (and still am) running extremely low on sleep!

The evening eventually arrived and I packed my bouquet of flowers into the car and headed out to Gordon’s Bay to take Chantelle out to supper in celebration of our 6th month anniversary (I can’t believe that it is only six months – it feels as if we have been together for years already!). She picked out a quaint little Italian venue along the beachfront and we proceeded to enjoy a quiet meal in a good atmosphere complete with your typical Italian opera being performed in the background. Unfortunately the conversation wasn’t the sharpest in the world thanks to both of us being a little tired, but it was a nice celebratory evening out. We followed it up with a nice moonlit stroll on the beach and then went back to her flat for coffee – and ended up staying awake until just before 01:00!

I still had to drive home as well, meaning I only got into bed closer to 02:00 – which would explain why it feels like I’ve been chewing an old shoe all night long. And the coffee appears to be losing its power now as well’ which isn’t good news if you consider we are stepping out again tonight to attend Michael Buble’s concert in Kirstenbosh.

Still, no complaints from me as it was an absolutely awesome weekend in every sense of the word. Now just for a stressful week of work in front of me and then it is glorious, glorious holiday!

Okay, seriously now. Looking at the length of this post, perhaps it is seriously time for me to start splitting these “weekend in review” posts up into the three respective days! This is getting ridiculous!

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.