The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 16, 1995 · Page 5
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 5

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, May 16, 1995
Page 5
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The Salina Journal LIFESTYLES * f tM-- ^s. Laser lesson Tag game turns mild-mannered journalist into Avenging Death Killer of Doom I found out about laser tag from a guy I know named Woody. Woody is in public relations, despite the fact that he looks like — and I say this as a friend — a street person who has failed to take his medication since 1972. Anyway, Woody represents this outfit that operates a laser-tag game, and he'd been bugging me to try it. "It's really HUMOR Barry THE MIAMI HERALD cool," he said. "Everybody runs around and tries to shoot everybody else." "Woody," I said, "that doesn't sound like a GAME. That sounds like MIAMI." But finally I decided to look into it, because I'm a journalist, and in my line of work, you never know when you're going to come across a socially significant new phenomenon, except that this will definitely not happen to you if you're playing laser tag. And thus on a Friday afternoon I went with my son, Rob, to the laser-tag place in Coconut Grove, which is a part of Miami where busloads of European tourists go to enjoy the unique South Florida tropical experience of meeting and mingling with other European tourists, sometimes from completely different buses. The laser-tag place was staffed by wholesome-looking young people. They collected $7.50 apiece from us and ushered us into the Briefing Room, along with about a dozen others who would be playing the game — some teenage boys, a family with munchkin-sized children, and two women who looked as though they came directly from work. At this point we were just ordinary humans with no interest in killing each other. A staff person divided us into a Red Team and a Green Team, then explained the principles of the game, which boil down to : Shoot the other team. (Actually, the staff person, for public-relations reasons, used the term "tag" instead of "shoot.") Each time you get shot you lose a life; after you lose four lives, you go to the Re-Energizer, where — here's a major improvement over reality — you get four MORE lives. The staff person also said we could use our lasers to deactivate the Enemy Base. "Why would we do that?" asked one of the women who looked as though they came directly from work. Rob and I smirked at each other, guy-to- guy, trying to imagine the mental state of a person who would not immediately grasp the importance of deactivating the Enemy Base. After the briefing, we went into the Vesting Room, where we each got a laser gun, attached to a red or green plastic vest (the vest has a device that vibrates when somebody shoots you). Then we were led to a big, dark, semi-spooky room with artificial smoke drifting around and a big maze in the middle, full of nooks and crannies where a person could skulk. The two teams went to opposite ends of the room. Then a voice on the loudspeaker said "5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ... 1..." and suddenly the room was filled with extremely loud, pulsating music apparently created by musicians beating their amplifiers to death with rocks. I am not a violent person. I am a product of the Flower Power '60s. I have actually worn bell-bottomed jeans and stood in a mass of hundreds of people, swaying back and forth, singing "Everybody get together, try to love one another right now," having vivid visions of World Peace. I haven't been in a fight since seventh grade and have never owned a gun. Reptile instinct inhabits brain But when the laser-tag game started, a primeval reptile instinct took over my brain, turning me instantly into The Avenging Death Killer of Doom. I made Rambo look like Mister Rogers. I was a wild man — darting through the dark maze, ducking around corners, making totally unintelligible combat-style hand signals to my teammates. At one point, I swear, I signaled to my son, and, without a trace of irony, yelled "Cover me!" My nervous system was on Maximum Overload Red Alert, because I knew that somewhere out there, in that smoky gloom, was The Enemy, and I had to hunt him down without pity, because he was a merciless killer who would not hesitate to ... BZZZZZZZZZZ NO! My vibrator is vibrating! I've been SHOT! The Enemy is even more deadly than I thought! He is vicious! He is brutal! He is a woman wearing high heels. At least she didn't hit me with her purse. I also got nailed repeatedly by the munchkins. The Avenging Death Killer of Doom spent a lot of time skittering back to the Re-Energizer, trailed by a persistent 7- year-old with excellent aim who was making The Avenging Death Killer of Doom's vest vibrate like a defective alarm clock. But I also scored a few hits myself, and at one point — I want this in my obituary — I deactivated the Enemy Base. Overall I found the experience to be far more entertaining than anything currently being funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. And to those of you who feel that this kind of game is bad because it might encourage aggressive behavior in a society that is already far too violent, let me say that, while I understand your point, I also feel that this type of "play-acting" activity can provide a harmless release for aggressiveness and actually REDUCE violence. So shut up or I'll kill you. Anxious graduates shape up for reunions By RICHARD LORANT The Associated Press BOSTON — So you're going to your 25th class reunion this spring and you're a bit more than ner- • vous — maybe a tad overweight, a bit gray and weathered, or maybe not quite as successful as you'd hoped. What do you do? A lot, say some. "They'll do whatever they can to be perceived as more attractive," said Michael Telch of the anxiety disorders lab at the University of "Texas at Austin. "Some people go We Service All Hakes of Sewing Machines and Vacuums Midwest Sewing & Vacuum 340 S. Broadway 825-0451 MAURE WEIGH Auto - Home Insurance Phone 827-2906 115 East Iron on rigorous diets. Some people will rent expensive cars." A few even go under the knife. Like the woman who asked Dr. Barry Davidson to pin back her protruding ears for her 25th college reunion. Or the dentist's wife who had her face lifted, then raked in the accolades at her husband's alma mater. "Everybody thought she looked terrific," said Davidson, a cosmetic surgeon in the toney suburb of Newton. A few patients each year specifically mention reunions when planning their surgery, he said. Women aren't the only ones who succumb to surgery. Cindy Pearson of Stanford University's alumni office remembers one elderly man who came to his 50th reunion with a facelift and a much younger woman on .his arm. Ten percent of the clients at the Boston Fitness for Women health center mention reunions as a reason to slim down and firm up, fitness director Heather Enz said. "The people who come in six weeks before — doing the crash diet, the crash exercise — they're a bit of a challenge," Enz said. "When you go back to a reunion you're going to compare yourself to a picture from 20 years ago. It's a losing battle." The women of Wellesley College are most interested in how their careers compare to those of their classmates, said Ann Connolly Tolkoff, an alumna organizing the Class of 1970 reunion this year. But they aren't immune to looks-envy. "One classmate wrote she would only come if she lost 30 pounds. She was joking. But was she concerned? Sure," Tolkoff said. "This is Wellesley College. We're really competitive. We're going to compare until we die." TUESDAY IS SPAGHETTI DAY Buy one heaping platter of spaghetti with our homemade meat sauce and tangy garlic toast at our regular low price and get a second platter for Mid State Mall Every Tuesday 11 am-10 pm GET THE SECOND SET OF PRINTS EVERY TUESDAY! Receive a second set of 3" prints FREE with any exposure roll of 35mm, disc, 110 or 126 color print film left for developing and printing at our everyday prices! C-41 process only. Excludes larger 4" size prints, photo galaxy or Kodalux finishes. 1820 S. 9th Hours: Mon.-Sat. 8 to 10 Salina, KS Sunday 11 to 7 Colorwatch system Spring Price Break /^/\0/ n 20 off Selected Group of Blouses & Knit Tops Choose from selected spring and summer tops in assorted colors and fabrics. 25 % off Entire Stock - Dresses All dressy, casual and daytime dresses in misses, petite and half sizes are on sale. Open Mon.-Sat. 9 to 5, Thursday 9 to 6 *No other discounts apply. Sale ends Saturday. Styte Strop ti^ 4 filler. S.iluia Tuesday, May 16, 1995 A5 Driver lies after hitting pedestrian Dear Ann Landers: Last year, while walking to my car in a grocery store parking lot, I was knocked down by a woman who was backing her car out. She ran to help me up, saying, "I'm so sorry I didn't see you, but I felt it when my car hit you." My forehead was bleeding profusely, and my head ached something awful. The woman ran into the store, got paper towels and called the manager. Even though she said she had to pick up her children at camp, she stayed with me and offered to drive me to the hospital. Finally, an ambulance was called, and I was hospitalized with a fractured pelvis. I was told to get a lawyer, and I did. For the first time in my 70 years, I needed legal advice regarding my medical bills. I then received the shock of my life. My lawyer informed me that the woman's insurance company claimed she had NOT knocked me down and that she had a passenger in the car as a witness. Ann, there was no passenger in that car, and the woman herself said she was sorry she hit me. I am thoroughly disillusioned. How can a seemingly nice woman who stayed to help me lie so blatantly? I hope if she reads this, she will realize that she is teaching her children to lie, too. Thanks for letting me express my disappointment. — Bethesda, Md. Dear Bethesda: Since you have a lawyer, you don't need me to tell you that the store manager might be an excellent witness. You are right about that woman teaching her children to lie. Children pay a great deal more attention to what parents DO than what they say. Thanks for pointing it out. Dear Ann Landers: I hope I'm not too late to get in my two cents' worth about the crowing rooster flap. It's a subject I know something about. I am a suburbanite, illegally harboring an 8-year-old retired rooster named Rocky. Yes, Rocky crows, but there is an easy way to keep him happy and the neighbors well-rested. Each night, we throw an old towel over the door to his roost, blocking his light source. He now believes daybreak occurs only when the towel is removed, which is always after 8 a.m. Neither Rocky nor the neighbors have complained. ADVICE Ann Landers CREATORS SYNDICATE • V We learned this trick at the Mauna Kea Hotel in Hawaii, where the cage cover of the most talkative parrot is removed at 9 a.m. sharp. — G.L. in Calif. Dear G.L.: Thanks for sharing your "trick." I was amazed at the number of people who wrote to say they loved being awakened at dawn by a rooster crowing. (P.S.: I am not among them.) Dear Ann Landers: I must respond to the letter from "Idaho," who said, "Doctors don't bill for the man-hours they spend on the phone, often providing free medical advice unrelated to the original problem." Perhaps that's true in Idaho, but not in Maine. Several years ago, I had abdominal surgery. This surgeon allowed one follow- up visit in her office, but after feeling discomfort more than a year later, I called her for reassurance. I was informed that a telephone conversation with this doctor would cost $45 for three minutes. — No Longer in Maine Dear No Longer: Apparently that doctor in Maine got fed up with treating people on the phone for free. Some docs would probably back her up. I think she should turn in her stethoscope and go to work for AT&T. Gem of the Day: It at first you do succeed, don't take any more chances. All lines of insurance including AUTO INSURANCE for service cull WALT FREDERKING 827-9339 1528 E. Iron AMERICAN FAMILY ^I3fcj|^jJ2CEEH <E AUTO HOME BUSINESS HEALTH LIFE ABOUT SMALL-DISH SATELLITE TV : No Other System ia Has A DJSH so smaii. [a Offers As Many Movies. is As Easy To install. is So Easy To Use. Ga Features More Sports. GST Costs So Little To Own. CALL 1-800-749-8130 Come in today and see the only 18-inch, all-digital satellite television service. The facts speak for themselves. THE CHOICE IS CLEAR. DIRECTV. OSS Kansas DIRECTV DIRECTV and OSS are trademarks of DIRECTV. Inc.. a unit of CM Hughes Electronics. Equipment ana programming sold separately O NRTC1995 Kansas Owned & Operated Dick's TV* Mankato, KS (913)378-3123 Solar & Wind* Clay Center, KS (913)632-5029 Larry's TV" Smith Center (913)282-6147 Pierce Electronics* Jewell, KS (913) 428-3601 Dick Esterl" Salina, KS (913)825-5659 Mike Shultz** Lincoln, KS (913)524-4602 •Authorized Kansai DBS Programming Agent Subsidiary of Midwest Energy. Butler Rural electric, Golden Belt Telephone and western Cooperative Electric. Printz TV- Clay Center, KS (913)632-3372 Jewell-Mitchell Electric** Mankato, KS (913)378-3151 Don's Appliance" Beloit, KS (913)738-2676 "Authorized Kansas DBS Agon

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