I stumbled across Fire hazard on the London Time Out website. It was a wintery Saturday in November. My busy week had involved a lot of drinking and I was looking for something to do that was fun but well, call me a sado, didn’t necessarily involve a night on the booze. God, was this possible? I guess it was worth a look.
Film, film, play, nightclub, film, play nightclub, gay bingo (another night perhaps?), film, play, comedy, film, ninja mission, film. Wait a minute, what, Ninja mission? This was my calling.
I rung Liv. I am lucky to have her as a friend. Mainly because when the chips are down and you want to do something a little outside of the box, feel like going a little crazy and no-one else is feeling your vibe… she will do it. Actually she is usually the one who suggests it…
We were given a time and place. Garden gate pub in Hampstead at 8pm. Wear black and be prepared to get dirty.
A little unsure of what to expect, we arrive in our ninja attire, black wellies, ton of layers and wooly hat with pom pom. Check. Headed straight to the bar, (don’t judge me, its a pub) and order what every serious ninja should put in their bellies before setting off on their missions… warm apple cider, yum.
We found our fellow ninjas outside in the beer garden. To be honest I was wondering what sort of people would do this sort of thing. And I have to say its a mixed bag. The age range (just guessing, hard to see in the dark), was 18 to 35, a pretty much even mix of girls and guys and seemed to be people, like us, looking for something a little different.
There we meet Gywn, Head ninja, with his team of helpful ninja assistants (or guards as it laters pans out). Gywn is very enthusiastic, which helps us all get into part. He gives us our mission, marches us up to the Heath, points out our safe zones and soon we are on our way to rolling around in the dark… silently and nimbly.
Basically the first game involves ninjas trying to get to a certain point without getting spotted by the guards. By this time its raining….. heavily.
Liv and I break free from the other ninjas and go our own way. We play it safe and take an extremely long journey crawling through mud, trees, bushes, under logs. We climb a hill, ‘Wow’ I say. ‘Look at that beautiful view of London!l!’ ‘Shut the f*ck up’ I hear, bringing me back to my mission. We roll down the other side of the hill in case a guard spots our silhouettes. Through one more set of bushes, our safe area is 5 meters away. Then we hear a loud horn… dam it, game over. So close.
The next game I’m in my element. Liv and I volunteer to be guards, we have to stop running ninjas throwing their glow stick into the safe area, if we tagged them, we get to take their glow sticks from them. Whatever team has the most glowsticks wins the game.
‘“STOP!!!’ I yell and tag one poor girl who is not running at all, wandering aimlessly, soaking wet in her wool coat. I do feel sorry for her. She looks cold and I’m guessing she was dragged here by her friends who didn’t really prepare her for what she was in for. I carry on and tag a few more. “STOP!!” I yell again.. Opps its wool coat girl, I continue to unknowingly stop her 5 more times (its dark ok), ‘me again’ she says more tiresomely each time, getting the feeling she over me yelling at her.
The horn goes, and the guards meet up. Each guard pulls out 2 or 3 sticks. I empty my pockets, 15 glow sticks later I feel I elated that I have done so well for my team…. yes I count them….loudly…. proudly… very un-cooly….
We wander back to the pub. Soaked to the bone, deciding not to stay for a drink, we head back to my place. Bursting in, excitedly relaying every detail of our mission to my husband. He looks at us like we are a little crazy in our in dripping wet clothes, silvering away. Ok, so some people may find it a little immature, but I thought it rocked!
Fire hazard doesn’t just do Ninjas outside in the rain. They break into warehouses, they attack zombies, they do treasure hunts for grown ups, they do lazer mazes and defuse ticking bombs. Fun stuff we only got to do as kids and I get the feeling there is one big kid out there who really enjoys his work! http://fire-hazard.net/