I left Archdale and was bound for Charlotte, NC with plans to play the 10:00pm Ironman at Laser Quest for which I had called in my reservation earlier that afternoon. I had been driving for most of the day at this point. I started my morning in Greensboro, NC, drove over two and a half hours to Blacksburg, VA, then another three hours to South Boston, an hour and a half to Burlington, half an hour more to Archdale and from there it was about an hour and twenty minutes more to Charlotte. Now, I had played a lot of laser tag along the way, so I have no complaints about all the driving required to get me there. But I had to push myself to make that extra hour and a half drive to get to what would be my 199th laser tag arena. And time was against me (you know, what with only 24 hours in a day and all). So I was driving along being mindful of the clock and knowing that if I timed everything right I’d get there just a few minutes before they started getting people checked in. It was a Saturday night and, yes, I hit lots of traffic, but my GPS had me routed to the address of a shopping plaza which was still comfortably within range. When I pulled into the plaza I drove slowly through the parking lot looking for the familiar LQ logo, but I could not find it anywhere. So I called the number I had saved in my phone and asked for some assistance. The woman who answered asked me what was nearby and as I started listing the stores within view she paused and asked me what address I had gone to. I told her…and she told me that this was the address of their old location and that they had moved across town six years ago. Their current arena was between 20-30 minutes away from where I was now. Oh-no!
Now, I don’t fault LQ at all because I did not find this address on their corporate site. I found the outdated info on an unrelated site that steers you towards where to play laser tag (and Bill, this one needs an update, please). So, I explained that I had driven quite a ways to play in this game (isn’t that an understatement!) and that I’d drive across town right now if I would be able to jump into the game once I got there. She said absolutely, so I put pedal to the metal and got to the other side of Charlotte, making very good time. I parked and ran into the lobby where several employees were waiting for me. One asked me what name I wanted to use and I said “Tiv”. I figured no sense signing in for a partial game and if I was only going to play half a game I would only use half of my player name instead of the whole “Tivia” that I use with Laser Quest Arena. In record time they had me signed in and throwing on a pack (whisking me through the briefing room…marshall, marshall, marshall) and then I was in the Ironman game with almost two thirds of it left.
There were a couple of competitive players there and I found them pretty quickly in the arena. One asked me if I was going to snipe him the entire game and I cheekily said “sure looks like it”. I smiled as he recounted that story to his buddy later on while we were waiting for our scoresheets.
I played hard. REALLY hard. I thought it would be amazing if I could somehow pull a win out of this even with only playing a partial game, so I went full out. And honestly I was pretty pleased with my score even though I came in third (right behind that guy and his buddy).
This was one of the most enjoyable LQ experiences I have had. I want to thank the staff for getting me into the game. They could tell it was urgent, but until it was all over they didn’t know why. Then I explained to them that this was my 199th arena and if I didn’t get to play here tonight it would throw everything off for when I play my 200th arena in a little over a week. So THAT is why it was super important for me to play at Laser Quest Charlotte even if I didn’t get an entire game. I got the experience and I can check this off.
And I’ve got the magnet to prove it! I so wish I had been collecting these all along…sigh, regrets, but happy to have this one to take back with me.
So even though I played half a game with half a name, Laser Quest Charlotte definitely was a whole lot of fun. And it sets me up so the next arena I play will be number 200. Get ready!
Comments or Questions?