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Justice, Tivia Style (aka Two Goals Set, Two Goals Met)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Justice, Tivia Style (aka Two Goals Set, Two Goals Met)

Yesterday was my designated "Zone Day" for the weekend, but I had a bit of extra time on my hands between work and game time, so I decided to swing by the third center in the area for a game of Lazer Runner, just to warm up for the night and mix things up a bit. Playing at this arena is not anything like playing...well, anywhere else, so I don't spend much time here, but it was convenient and just for a change of pace to get going. I told myself I didn't have time to stay long anyway, so I intended to buy one game only and take a single shot at beating whatever the high score of the day might be (I've mentioned they have a weird way of displaying the scores, but the top score of the day stays posted at the top of the screen until or unless it is topped). That was my plan. However, when I got to the counter to buy my game pass I heard myself say "two games, please". I surprised myself with that, since I was only there for one game to meet that one goal...until I got into the second line for the arena and I developed a way more important objective.

I was in the line to go into the arena and was a few places behind a group of three people...two guys and a girl, all in their mid-to-late twenties or so. Observing these people, the relationships were obvious. One was the alpha male of the group, the girl was his girlfriend and the other guy who was stockier with a beard was the best bud. The guys bore a slight resemblance to Jay and Silent Bob, but since I adore Jay and Silent Bob I hate to bring those characters into this comparison. It's probably more accurate to say that the lead guy looked just like Vanilla Ice. One more important thing to know...the lead guy in the group was being a TOTAL ASS to his girlfriend. I watched him being loud and rude and cocky and definitely acting like he thought he was God's gift to laser tag. I watched him mildly berate his girlfriend when she asked to exchange her vest for a smaller size when the straps wouldn't adjust properly (FYI, I was handed that very vest afterwards and I can vouch for the fact it was too big and didn't adjust properly). And I watched him loudly planning his strategy with his bud in a way that was clearly so that everybody else would know that "they had this". Damn, I didn't plan to be ultra competitive on my "just for fun" warm up, but this guy left me very little choice. I no longer cared about beating the top score. My sole objective in that moment was that I was going to beat this guy, take him down a notch and in some cosmic way let that victory avenge the idiotic behavior I had just witnessed. I hung back unassumingly, but inside I was primed and ready to unleash it.

The guys and the girl made their way into the arena ahead of everyone else as the game attendant activated each vest as we walked by. I kept them in my sights as I waited for mine to be activated...except it didn't. The game attendant told me to hang back. Sheesh, really?! So he let everyone else in and those three were long out of my sight by the time he came back to me and gave me a new vest. I asked if he would wait to start the game until we were all in and he said, no, it already started, but I'd only be a little bit behind going in. Normally, not a big deal. However, I was a bit irritated with this because if there was any game when I did NOT need the disadvantage of a few seconds lost while they were already getting a head start, this was it. But I focused and once I had my new vest I went in and was ready to take this guy head on.

I didn't immediately find him in the arena...but I did find his friend. And amazingly his friend was a relatively easy target. They talked the talk, but the bearded bud did not have the skills to walk the walk. He quickly pegged me as the one taking him out multiple times, but he didn't successfully retaliate. At one point the Vanilla Ice guy was shooting from behind his friend, literally using him as a human shield. That strategy not only looked ridiculous, but made it easier for me to take both out at one time.

Once Mr. Laser Tag realized I was getting in his way he got all the more aggressive with his playing. I am cognizant of the benefit of getting the bases multiple times (something I often think others overlook), but this guy knew it too, so at one point we both ended up in the less populated part of the arena where two base targets were easy to get to. I shot the one on the left side and could tell from behind the barrier he was getting the one on the right. I came around to him from the right side of the barrier, but he was flying. He was a big guy (tall at least) and clearly ignoring the rules about not running because he turned around and started running without looking and crashed into me HARD. And when I say hard, I mean he smashed his phaser into my face (it's a bit tender under my left eye today with a very faint bruise where he hit me...I don't think it was deliberate, just careless) and he hit me in such a way that my own phaser actually turned off for a couple of seconds. I really though he broke it, which would have been bad on a few levels, not the least of which would be not being able to beat him as a result. But he didn't stick around long enough to know if there was any damage done. When he crashed into me I didn't even get the benefit of an "I'm sorry". Instead he just said "oh, shit" and ran away from me. Fortunately, the lights came back on my phaser a few moments later and if I hadn't wanted to pound this guy before let me just say my aggression hit a new height and I played like I had never before. He was going down.

So I finished that game as a powerhouse. I knew even as we were walking out that I totally nailed it and was confident I was the winner. And indeed I was. I came out with a score nearly 2000 points ahead of Mr. Laser Tag and I felt great...that's Tivia's street justice. Now, I can't change a guy's personality and make him any less of a jerk, but I did take a tremendous amount of satisfaction in knowing I showed this guy up at "his game" and maybe at least took him down a peg or two for the night. Is that wrong? (wicked smile)

Then I realized this must be why I bought two games instead of one. I had two goals to accomplish. One goal was beating this guy (I know that sounds so petty, but trust me, it had to be done) and then I was able to return to my original goal of beating the high score for the day. I went into the second game half-hoping that Laser Tag Boy would be back, but he and his friends had left by then. So I just went in with numbers on the brain. I tagged a lot, I took plenty of base points and at the end of that round...success! I came out with the high score for the day at 12,300 (remember this is Runner, so the point scoring is different from the other arenas) and I left feeling fantastic and ready to take on some real laser tag that night.

I headed towards the Zone arena and found a mixed bag of players this night and I won the first couple of rounds without breaking a sweat. I was in first or second place all night and actually...found myself getting a little bored with it. I'm sorry to say that after the variety of laser tag games I've been experiencing lately going back to my Zone haunt seems very...redundant. Since I'd had a full couple of days of laser tag I decided to call it a night a bit early, but the rounds I played were good and it was a fun evening. However, for me the whole night was made by that first victory. A note if he ever happens upon this blog: "Mr. Laser Tag"...treat your girlfriend better and recognize that someone else in that arena came out "Cool as Ice". (cue the music as I walk away...Ice, Ice Baby, too cold...)

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