Friday, May 23, 2014

Controlled 30th Birthday Violence

With my 30th birthday fast approaching, I wanted it to be as completely ridiculous awesome as possible. Partly for it's own sake, and partly because I wanted to dull the sting of entering geezerdom. There was plenty of a different type of sting provided by good old fashion paintball wounds.

Preparations started the night before with a trip to local beer purveyor Schlafly Taproom. I've never directly been involved with the purchase of a full size keg before, which was exciting by itself. I've always been disappointed with the weak nature of keg beer I encountered. I decided to use my dictatorial birthday powers to upgrade the beer to something awesome.

Belgian Golden Ale
Schlafly Belgian Golden Ale is the beer a Lannister would dream about. Delicious with a 7% alcohol content to remind you it means business. Per the Schlafly website:

"Our Belgian-Style Golden Ale opens with a fruity nose and rounded sweetness that compose a pale and balanced beer. Hallertau hops lend a hint of spice that balances the aroma and flavor of orchard fruit. Similar to our Belgian Tripel, but with a lighter body and a crisper finish..."

The keg was so large and heavy that we needed a truck to transport it, which my good buddy Kyle was kind enough to provide. We met him and Jess for a pre-drink. Unfortunately for everyone at the table I glanced at a food menu and noticed something awesome: pickled herring! I'd actually had this before; It's a big deal in the Netherlands. I ate it once as a whole fish fillet that you hold by the tail, and once chopped up with onions on a hot dog bun.

I expected a couple little pieces, and maybe some bread or crackers. What I received was a massive pile of pickled sea creature with four little pieces of bread. In case that wasn't enough pickle, there were pickled capers mixed in and some pickle pickles on the side. Of course there was dill sour cream to dip it all in. Once our mouths were sufficiently pickled we loaded up the truck.

I think everyone present would agree that paintball was completely awesome. Gateway Paintball Park was out near St. Charles, and had several maps with different kinds of obstacles to hide behind. My little strategy was to move quickly along the sides of the courses in order to flank people in the middle. It worked fairly well I would say, but I didn't escape without several quarter sized bruises. I got several extras bruises from the end of the day, where I just ran around with no gun and let people shoot at me a la Duck Hunt.

Party goers who weren't still nursing their paintball PTSD came over to the apartment later that night and we went out on the Loop. Adventures were had.

I learned a hard lesson in keg beer the next day. I brought the remainder of the keg out for our kickball team, Pitch Slap (I'm proud of that name), to enjoy. I'm thinking I hadn't kept it cold enough overnight, but it was like a foam firehouse. I had a couple bags of ice on it to no avail. That is the reason why people put such weak, no head, beer in there. Live and learn, I guess.

I filled up a few containers with the keg once it had settled down a little, then took it back to its home. Goodbye keg, and happy birthday to me!

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