Entertainment of the Future

I have to admit up front that I have never written a story while being held against my will at the Boulder County Police Headquarters. Usually I sit home at my desk and mold the random thoughts running around in my head into a somewhat coherent and for the most part correctly-spelled piece of literature. On this occasion I was not afforded the meager luxuries of my small one bedroom apartment, but rather I scribbled my thoughts on the back of some legal documents with a small pencil the guards overlooked during the customary pat-down process. I suppose the guards didn’t view me as a traditional “psycho killer” type during the check in process. Either that or their apathy won over. What ever the reason, it gives me a chance to explain how I got here in the first place.

It all started rather innocently enough. After a few hours of one of our favorite Saturday night activities, my friends and I were talking about how we could improve the already wildly entertaining game of Laser Tag. The place where we usually play sports an impressive 8500 square foot multistory arena where up to forty people run around shooting each other for thirty minutes at a time. The next logical step would be to play it outdoors. Being regular customers, the manager let us take a few of the guns out in the parking lot to see how well it would work.

Playing laser tag in the parking lot was a blast. We would run around the buildings and take refuge behind the few cars that remained in the parking lot at two in the morning. If you aimed the gun carefully, you could hit someone that was standing still from about 200 yards away. The biggest problem was that after about thirty minutes of running around the parking lot we were all too out of breath to play anymore.

I suppose at this point in the story we could have all gone home, and the story would have ended there-and more importantly, without the need for police intervention. But that’s not what happened. After catching our breath on the curb of the parking lot, we created a slight variation of the game. We reasoned because we all like to play Laser Tag and we all like to drive our cars that, “Laser Car Tag” would be more entertaining than either activity by itself. We decided on boundaries for the game, picked teams, and each got into our own car.

The general idea was to chase down one of the cars from the other team and shoot the blinking lights on their gun in order to get points. With four cars and a rather large field of play it wasn’t very easy to find the other team, much less shoot the lights on their gun. We all drove around for twenty minutes without anyone getting hit. At that moment I realized my teammate Brian and I both had cell phones in our cars. I called him up and we set up a trap for the other team.

In case you were wondering, it’s not all that easy to drive a car with a standard transmission, talk on a cell phone, and aim a laser gun out the window trying to hit the other team all at the same time. Despite these difficulties, Brian and I were able to set up a trap where I got one of the other cars to chase me and Brian sneaked up from behind and hit one of their sensors. Victory was ours.

Sometimes in life you can win and lose at the same time. This was such an occasion.

While Brian was sneaking up on our prey, it turns out that there was a police car that was sneaking up behind all of us and witnessed the entire maneuver. He pulled all three of the cars over. In all honesty, I don’t think he appreciated our creative vision that night. While he didn’t specifically arrest us for playing laser car tag, he did mention some “laws” against going thirty-five miles an hour over the speed limit through the main street in Boulder, not stopping at red lights, and erratically changing lanes every three seconds. We presented what I thought was a convincing verbal argument that it’s the difference in speed that kills and since we were both going seventy miles an hour down 28th street, there was really no chance that we would hit each other. The officer seemed largely unconvinced and decided to give us the pleasure of spending the night in jail.

My first (and so far only) night in jail was not as bad as I imagined. Neither the guards or other prisoners deemed it necessary for me to receive any kind of “anal probe”, which I greatly appreciated. I spent four years in college living on dorm food, so what they gave us in jail really brought back memories. If all goes as planned tomorrow morning we will all get out on bail pending our court hearings.

Post Trial Comments:

The trial received much more publicity due to the accounts of that night and the corresponding video tape from the officer’s patrol car being the feature story on the television show “COPS” last week. As part of my plea bargain, I have agreed to provide a public service message on what has now become known as Xtreme Laser Tag.

Youth of America– playing Laser Tag while operating a car, motorcycle, mountain bike, or gyrocopter may seem like a whole lot of fun, but it’s actually a very dangerous sport. While there have been no documented deaths attributed to this activity in the United States, it is believed every year between 100 and 200 children in Mexico and other parts of South America die in Laser Tag related incidents. Remember– friends don’t let friends get really drunk at Christmas parties and… OOPS, that was a previous story. Just remember kids, officers have been authorized to use stun guns and other forms of violent-yet-non-lethal force to stop these now illegal Laser Tag games.

Well, that part is over. Now I can get this whole ugly mess behind me once I finish my 200 hours of community service in accordance with the terms of my parole.

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