I’m writing to you from the front lines. This is day eight of my house being under siege. We fear leaving the premises and if we do it’s not before a full-scale outside reconnaissance has taken place. Anyone exiting our home must be escorted to their car via a security team.
We also have been changing out our cars so no one in the family is seen driving the same vehicle twice in one day.
Thankfully, on Easter Sunday there was a cease fire and it almost felt normal for 24 hours, but it’s it all started up again. We are scared. Our home life is being systematically destroyed. We trust no one.
The culprit behind our distress is a high school game called “assassins.” And before you get all freaked out by the name, it’s basically water tag played with jumbo Super Soakers. Yet, this version of water tag brings out the über competitiveness spirit in an age group that is so over high school and ready to concentrate on something that has no impact on their future — area seniors with fewer than five weeks until graduation.
These kids take “assassins” (or “Gotcha” or “Soaked”) as seriously as the ACT. Battle plans are plotted, alliances are made and spies are everywhere. The basis of the game is that everyone has a “secret” target. Once that target gets super soaked you move on in the game and the goal is to be the last dry one standing for prize money that can top $1,000.
There are rules, of course. You can’t go into someone’s home or garage. School is a safe zone, as are places of employment and worship. Plus, anyone behind the wheel of a car is off limits. You’re at your most vulnerable leaving your house. Kids have scaled fences, hidden behind AC units and basically stalked their assigned person for hours.
My daughter is currently playing the game and I’m seriously considering talking to her about perhaps looking into the FBI academy as a post-college option. She’s got our home on lock-down, has family members doing sweeps of the yard for intruders, prefers a two-person escort to her car as human shields from the Super Soaker and just this past weekend devised a car switch out plan that was so elaborate it required a chart.
I knew she was getting a tad over-enthusiastic when she was looking at alternate exits from the Leawood City Hall before a lifeguard training meeting.
During all this, she was also plotting super soaking her target. Talk about drama. While she had been successful in not getting soaked she was being outsmarted by the student she was supposed to get wet. This led to her deciding to form an alliance with the girl who her target was supposed to soak. (I know confusing — right?) In short, my daughter was going to soak her target while he tried to soak his.
Once the chase was on, my daughter said she had to hurdle neighborhood fences, zigzag between houses, and finally, with the help of her alliance, was able to drench her classmate. She sent me a photo with the hashtag #bestdayever.
I thought this was it. Game over. We, as a family, were free from looking for kids with Super Soakers and using terms like “I got your six.” But, no apparently, this game can and has gone on until after graduation.
I don’t see that happening because I’m about this close to inviting her “super soaker” into my home and letting him spray away. I need my freedom back.