Yesterday there was an archery party at Redwood Bowmen, and Neal asked Spot the Octopus to sing at the event. He had asked us to sing for a similar party around this time last year, and that’s when we all got into archery. We sang a fun set and the crowd seemed really entertained! Squirrel was a favorite.
There was an entire roast pig (on a spit that was driven down from four hours away!) and all kinds of feasting and friends and fun. There were a few members of Spot who couldn’t make the archery party last year, so we got to teach them archery this time!!! And we have a few friends who just got their bows in and shot them for the first time. Carolyn would have shot her new bow if they hadn’t mixed up her stuff — her limbs and riser didn’t fit together. But we had several 30# bows to go around, and Javan and Fritz had fixed up a bunch of arrows on Friday for me to use with my 29# bow, so it was great!
Carolyn always wants to play sardines. So late in the evening, she said, “let’s play sardines!” and we went outside the range house and found a bunch of teenagers playing hide and seek. So Carolyn said, “let’s play sardines!” and thus began a night of running around the entire archery range in the dark and tripping on things and sustaining hilarious minor injuries and having people half our age run circles around us. The highlight of the night was a zombie game of our own making.
One person is it, and they run away and hide somewhere. Everybody else stays in the starting area, closes their eyes, and counts to 50. Once 50 is reached, everyone disperses and looks for it. If you find them, you have to HIDE WITH THEM, hence the name–you end up pretty squished by the time 5 people have found the group, and the group becomes harder to conceal, adding to the hilarity. The last person to find the sardines is it next round.
Come Into My Lair
You have to learn everybody’s names. We had two people be it, since there were so many of us. There is a designated lair, which usually has a bench. To begin the game, it (or the team that are it) close their eyes and count to 50 and stay in the starting area while everybody else runs and hides. Then the it people roam around and look for us. If they see us, they yell “[yourname], come into my lair!” and if you hear your name called in this fashion, you must stop running away and report to the lair. You sit at the lair until someone else comes stealthily up to the lair and frees you by tagging you. Of course, they have to do this when it (or the multiple its) are not watching the lair. This was hilarious. I saved everyone multiple times by dashing around the building (once I smashed my head against a drainage pipe under the eaves on the far side of the range house). One of the kids hid in plain sight for like five minutes against the brick stove practically inside the lair. After the building shenanigans, I spent a lot of time face down under some ferns at the base of a tree near the lair. Carolyn hid for most of the game but saved us all gloriously towards the end. This game went on for a very long time and didn’t really finish–we grew tired and called a break, which ended up turning into starting over with a new game.
There is one wolf. Everybody else runs and hides. There is one safe object (in our case, a wooden pole on the side of the brick stove). The objective of the nonwolves is to sneak up and touch the safe object, but you can only touch the safe object after you yell “bloody wolf,” and you can only yell “bloody wolf” if you can see the wolf. If the wolf tags you, you’re out. So this one has a lot more chasing and is much more fast-paced than come into my lair. There was an epic standoff between the wolf and two kids who somehow got on the roof of the wood shed.
Someone suggested playing ‘zombie tag,’ which was: one person starts out as the zombie, and if they tag you, you also become a zombie… and so on. We took this concept and changed it: there are three zombies, and everybody else is a survivor. We took two lawn chairs and brought them to the middle of the archery range. The objective of the survivors is to bring at least one of the chairs back (the chair being a stand-in for ‘supplies’ of course) to the safe area without being tagged (a two-handed touch). The objective of the zombies is to tag all of the survivors. The catch: the zombies can only olympic powerwalk. This was far and away the best game of the night. When you’re a survivor wading into a dark archery field full of zombies, and you know you’re faster than them but they just keep coming at you out of nowhere, it’s actually really terrifying. And hilarious. One round I was a survivor and snuck up on a chair, took it, and ran screaming. I might have made it if I hadn’t narrowly missed a bench in the middle of the field and then completely ate it by veering into a ditch. Overcome by zombies!!! Fritz was a survivor the first round and when Bryce rose out of the little bridge in the middle of the field Fritz took off screaming.
Fritz ended up in nettles. It was minor — just the inside of his wrist, but you could see how puffy the reaction was, and by this morning it had reduced down to a series of raised red prick marks. We both had some splinters from diving to the ground. One of mine was really hard to get out this morning, and hurt a surprising amount while seeming really small. It turned out to be really long when we finally got it out.
Running around fields is awesome. And I didn’t even sprain my ankle, gopher holes and all!
In real life, “…and thus began a night of running around the entire archery range in the dark” sounds like a horrible idea!
The best stories start, “When you’re a survivor wading into a dark archery field full of zombies…” ^_^