The best date spot in Pullman: Cougar Entertainment Center


The laser tag arena inside the Cougar Entertainment Center as seen on April 15.

Games and I don’t mix. A long time ago, when I was little, I remember enjoying Chutes and Ladders and Trouble, but I have had a distaste for that form of competition for a while.

Most of my friends know about this part of me, including my fellow editors at The Daily Evergreen. And so, when laser tag won best date activity for our Student Choice Awards, the editors thought it would be great fun to make me go play and write about it. The fact that I am the relationship columnist played into the decision too I’m sure, but I suspect they mostly did it out of spite.

So, now we have the context of the fateful day: I have never played laser tag in my life, and I was tossed into the fray, left to fend for myself in the electric jungle. It was one versus one, myself against my beloved boyfriend.

I was ushered into the debriefing area, where the rules were explained, and they didn’t even make any sense. We were supposed to hit the thingies on the vests and guns, apparently.

Into the arena we go, and suddenly I was pitted against the man I am supposed to trust and rely on. And then he shot at me. Forty-two times, to be specific. Eventually I realized how the hell the gun works, and I shot right back.

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And you know what? It was fun. I had fun playing a game and I couldn’t believe it. Through the squeals I couldn’t help but produce when I turned a corner into a ready-to-shoot Josh, through the pain in my leg when I stupidly ran into one of the lower barriers, and through my giggles as I thought I had actually hit my opponent, I enjoyed myself.

Once the twelve minutes was up, I found my Josh, and we snickered at each other and left the arena. I felt great, I thought I’d crushed it. I thought I had crushed him. I felt as though I could crush the entire damn world.

And Josh crushed me. Those 42 hits Josh got against me outshone my mere six. Six shots.

Upon seeing those numbers, my ego ran for cover. The employees, however, gave me an opportunity to redeem myself. I like to think I am awesome at mini golf, the one game that is adorable enough for me to actually like it. Guess what, I actually suck at that too.

We entered the darkened mini golf room, and I was presented with a lot of dinosaurs and a shark. Fun fact about your favorite relationship columnist, there are two random things I don’t like all that much (besides games) and those are dinosaurs, yes I know they’re dead, and sharks.

So you could say we weren’t off to a great start. I did pretty well on the first few holes, until a mechanical T-Rex growled at me. It all went downhill from there. I am proud to say I got a hole-in-one. Only to be followed by Josh getting three. It’s safe to say I lost in that competition too.

These two activities and the successive gloating coming from my boo solidified my feelings: I’m not that great at games, I also don’t like them, I dislike losing even more, and random noises from what you thought was a motionless statue are terrifying. I learned I dislike a bunch of things, as I had suspected before. And I also learned that I like my Josh very much.

Through this column project, I was forced out of my comfort zone and into the fiery pits of hell known to many as playful competition, and I didn’t hate every moment of it. In fact, I would do it again. Maybe next time I could be on the same team as the boyfriend so I don’t feel a unified sense of guilt and pleasure in shooting at him.

As a date night is supposed to do, our excursion to laser tag brought me closer to my boyfriend, and reminded my just why I want to be with him.

Date night at the Cougar Entertainment Center? A smashing success.