Thursday, January 05, 2006

TAG, You're Dead!

The transcribing of the holiday tapes has finally commenced. First up: playing T.A.G. with the Parkerites.

Early in my Freshman year of college, somebody in Parker decided to organize a game of T.A.G.: The Assassin Game. If you're not familiar with the game, it goes like this (or, at least, our version went like this); the organizer of the game takes the names of all of the players and creates a circular structure of targets. Person A has Person B for a target, Person B has Person C, and so on and so forth until finally Person Z has Person A. The objective of the game: to "kill" as many targets as possible without getting "killed" yourself; once you "killed" your target, you took over their target as your next hit. You could only "kill" your target or your assassin, and you could only "kill" your assassin if they drew on you first.

And how did you "kill" someone? With little plastic weapons. Once the game was underway, you suddenly saw everyone walking around with water guns, dart guns, disc guns, plastic knifes, etc. Basically, if you tagged them before they could tag you, they were dead. The whole building was a safe zone, as was a small section of sidewalk outside the building as a concession to the smokers in the dorm, who would have had a fit if they couldn't get their nicotine fix without some degree of safety.

I remember playing at least twice that first semester. The first time, everyone was talking about who their targets were, and who had killed them, and so on, so that by the end of the first day, a group of us had already figured out the entire circle of doom; needless to say, that first round was over really quickly. For the next round, such jabbering was verboten.

I never was all that great at the game; the whole stalking your target thing just wasn't my forte. I was pretty pleased during that first game when one of the targets I managed to whack had my roommate as his target; I mean, who doesn't long for a chance to bump off their roomie at one point or another? Of course, since this was the first game, he knew that I was after him, which made things a bit tricky. We had been joking around about it, with me following him around, him acting like he was going to leave and then veering back inside at the last minute, goofy stuff like that. At one point he was standing outside in the safe zone, talking with some of the smokers; I went over to another player and asked if I could borrow his retractable plastic knife, stuck it in my front pocket, and headed outside. He saw me coming and made sure that he was inside the safety zone, which extended to the end of the first big block of concrete in the sidewalk; once you were past that first crack, you were fair game. He did the usual goofing around, acting like he was going to leave the safe zone, while I protested that I didn't even have my gun on me. It was around this time that one of the R.A.s who was out there pulled out a bottle of bubbles and started blowing them. My roomie started following them around, acting like he was mesmerized, saying "Ooooooo, bubbles," and the like. So intent was he on his goofy charade that he followed the bubbles right out of the safety zone; I hopped out, "stabbed" him, and hopped back in: victory was mine! And now you know where he got the nickname Bubbles from.

My victory was short-lived; it wasn't long before I met my own demise during a function at the BSU. Not sure who it was that ratted me out to my assassin, but there I was, sitting in the floor of the worship hall, doing some stupid ice-breaker, when suddenly I saw a fellow third-floor Parker resident coming down the stairs, disc gun blazing; due to my cross-legged seated position I was unable to extricate my own gun in time, and was thus slain, much to the confusion of pretty much every other person at the BSU.

My death in the second game was all due to Coronela, who wasn't playing this time around, due to her becoming a bit too high-strung the first time around due to the machinations of a certain Eeeeeeeeevil individual; I swear, at one point when he popped up in front of her outside the dorm she screamed loud enough to set off car alarms outside. Anyway, I was heading to the BSU for something and she asked if she could walk with me, since she was heading to something in the same direction. So, we made our way across campus, and crossed the street to the BSU. I started to head to the back entrance which I almost always used, but she turned towards the front, so I followed her. We both walked up to the front door, at which point good ol' Bubbles jumped out from behind the bushes and gunned me down. Yup, Coronela and Bubbles were co-conspirators in my execution. It didn't bother me so much that she had betrayed me; if only it hadn't been to him. I mean, I lost all bragging rights for knocking him out of the first game. But, at least I wasn't distracted by bubbles; that's something, anyway.

I honestly have no idea who won either one of those first two games; we played again the next year, but my heart wasn't really in it, and I got eliminated pretty quickly. And that would be the end of my T.A.G. playing days; it wouldn't, however be my last association with the game. No, that would come about four years later during my time among the Book Monkeys, which I'll talk about tomorrow.