Joco Opinion

Stacey Hatton: I spy ladies who laser tag

I’ve been afraid of guns for decades. Ever since a tragic accident killed a beloved young boy a few blocks from my childhood home, I’ve steered clear of all firing arms.

When I started constructing my bucket list, shooting activities never crossed my mind. Why would I need to shoot a firearm before I die? Sounded like a bad miniseries just waiting to happen.

But how would I live out my Charlie’s Angels fantasy without a weapon? No gun ranges for this mom, and paint ball seemed aggressive. Plus, according to my ladies night out group, paint ball hurts.

When I was young, lithe, and devoid of stretch marks, Charlie’s Angels was hot on television. My friends and I ran through the neighborhood in silk blouses, church slacks and feathered hair, drinking Tab cola. We stopped periodically to freeze-frame into that famous silhouetted photo.

Paper. Rock. Scissors. Yeah! I’m Farrah two days in a row.

So when I scheduled an afternoon of laser tag for my ladies group, we were pumped. Six friends dressed the part and morphed into the Real Joco Housewives of Advanced Laser Tag in Olathe while our kids were in school.

Dressed in black from head to toe we transformed into stealth machines and got right to business.

Our photo shoot.

Our hair and makeup had to look smoking hot, and we knew that after several games of tag, we might appear less than camera ready.

Jason, the manager, took us into a dark room to choose our armor and guns.

“We don’t call them guns. Would scare the kids, so we say phasers,” corrected our fearless and entertaining leader.

So I seized my not-a-gun-with-a-trigger and strapped on a bulky, hard-shelled vest, which glowed like a crab that lived too close to a nuclear test site. On my chest was the name Buzz.

I didn’t know the names were on the vests! I wanted to choose Maverick, Striker or… wait, you got Itchy?

The last time I desired Itchy so bad was… OK, maybe that was a first. But I was green-eyed with laser envy.

I bellowed, “I’m going to Walgreens to pick up something to exterminate you, Itchy! You’re going down!!”

Unfortunately, the first round of tag didn’t go well for my team. It was three against three. Red vs. blue. Our competitiveness shone in our eyes — or it could have been the glare from the vests.

But tragically my red team didn’t hear the instructions for where to find the big-point target signs. Thank goodness we were able to destroy all the exit signs with great precision. Unfortunately, those didn’t bring us any points.

Blue team: 1.

Red team: Nearly asked to leave, but unable to find the exits.

The next game improved. My team was reeducated on the rules — and at times were manually led by staff to the target signs. I think we definitely were Team Farrah. Not a lot of skill, but we looked good!

Through the dark, we darted in and out of bunkers, charged up ramps and nimbly spun out of shadows to surprise other players. High-pitched girl screams echoed.

This was while I hid in the corner waiting for my vest light to come back on. I got deactivated so often, I felt as if I were sitting in an eternal time-out for the first few games. Payback from my children?

Overall, the Joco Housewives laughed like schoolgirls and decompressed before the coming summer break. We even decided to bring our husbands another time to challenge them.

I highly recommend the experience for any Star Trek or Star Wars bucket listers. It’s out of this world!

Just remember to first check your vest because you will never live it down if you’re a Trekkie named Itchy.

Freelance columnist Stacey Hatton blogs at Send her email