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Stories High Park Madness


Every year, the company I work for has an annual picnic wherein employees and bosses mingle in the open atmosphere of a picnic ground, eating hot dogs and hamburgers, playing games, and just sociallizing in a non-work environment. Every year, all-madness breaks loose thanks to our company's arsenal of Super Soakers® (tm).

The company's arsenal consists of three XP110s, three SC 500s and two CPS 1000s. In the hands of young and old, alike, these blasters end up unleashing uncountable litres of water upon suspecting and unsuspecting individuals. Dryness isn't an option. One can only hope to minimize the wetness.

With a group of over 50 people at the picnic, there obviously is not enough weaponry for everyone. This is what leads to a lot of trouble. Unarmed individuals, fearing for their own dryness, end up using any means necessary for dispensing water, including cups, buckets, ice cubes down the back, etc. Simply put, once the water starts flying, anything goes (with the exception of creek water, thankfully!).

Knowing the weaponry I was to face, I brought a small sampling of my own armoury to the picnic. With me, I had brought an XP220, an XP310, a CPS1200, a CPS1500 and the Monster XL for testing in large crowded areas.

I lent friends various weapons from time to time. As there were more blasters than people, soakers ended up exchanging hands from time to time as people were either drenched beyond belief or from those who were too tired to participate further. The following is my personal views on various weaponry used on the field:

XP220: Good for a laugh and for annoying people to fire back. The range on this little soaker is incredible and little spurts done over and over again may not soak, but will definitely annoy anyone on the receiving end. Little kids also love using this blaster since it is quite small and easy to use.

XP110: Good all-purpose XP blaster. Didn't get to use this one much, but from what I saw, it could hold its ground even up against the CPS1000s.

XP310: This was my second favourite blaster to use at the picnic. After experimenting the day before with the advantages of preloading the firing chamber with air, this blaster performed like a CPS but had even better range at times while conserving water. The smallest and largest nozzle settings were used most often, but I found little reason to use the intermediate nozzle sizes. Of course, the four-nozzle choices give this blaster a menacing look.

SC500: Behaving similarly to the XP110s but with a slightly smaller reservoir and firing chamber. However, its CPS-based firing chamber makes for more consistent streams and no need to pre-load the firing chamber.

CPS1000: Good all-purpose CPS blaster. Didn't use this one, but having had previous experience on the field with them, I know and saw these blasters soak with a vengeance. However, like most CPS weapons, their reservoirs don't last very long in an all-out squirtfest.

CPS1200: Performs just like the CPS1000 but has funkier colours. Very good blaster and slightly easier to carry on its top-mounted handle than the CPS1000.

CPS1500: Has been and still is my favourite water blaster. Its size isn't too bad making running possible while its two nozzle settings can mean either soak or seriously drench. A direct hit from the 10x stream will decimate any dry spot on a cotton shirt within a second... no timer needed.

Monster XL: This blaster made some kids cry just from its sheer size. Its output can be set at unearthly, but its range leaves a little to be desired. Since most people run from a blaster this size, it would have been nice to have a little more range. The firing chamber is a good size, but its reservoir is rather limited when engaging the enemy in an area lacking easy filling stations. Its size and length make facing multiple hostiles rather difficult. Its size also tends to have hostiles gang up on the user, making a support ally extremely important to have. (I wish I had one. As I have written before, 4 XPs from four different sizes still have the upper hand and that I got to experience first hand at this picnic.) I also had lent out this beast to a few people, one of whom turned it on me while I had my back to him, refilling another blaster. Now I know what the receiving end of those dual 11.5x streams feels like. I'm not lending the Monster XL to that guy anymore.

During the picnic, I also had a chance to practice some useful water warfare tactics, testing them in the heat of a all-out squirtfest. Despite the cheap shots during refills, most of my time was spent dishing out more water than receiving, but I'll discuss these various techniques more on future Tips and Tactics pages.

In all-out squirtfests, there really are not winners or losers. Dryness was decimated throughout the battleground, but smiles and laughter was abundant, making it an overall success. I look forward to organizing more water battles in the near future, hopefully with a little more tactical use as opposed to a simple squirtfest.

Leave NO one dry!

Posted: 20000717

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