back to article BOFH: The Christmas party

"...Which leads to the next item - the office Christmas function," the Boss says to the assembled masses of the IT department. "The office function or the building function?" one of the helldesk geeks asks. "Just the office," the Boss says. "The director and I have been talking and he's keen that we all do something …


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  1. Duckorange
    Thumb Up

    Paintballs in the freezer

    Why, why, WHY have I never thought of this?

  2. Simon
    Paris Hilton

    Poor Taste

    I find it a little churlish of Simon to be having fun at a Christmas party when many of his fellow BOFHs and PFYs are being denied similar enjoyment by Scrooge-like corporate entities in this time of financial instability...however great paintball (with frozen balls) might be

    Paris and frozen balls - I think not

  3. dervheid


    but sweet!


  4. Mark Milaszkiewicz
    Thumb Up


    perfect way to finish off..... awesome, on form, brilliant...

    now, what to do for the rest of the day in the office on my own..

    *goes to delete files*

  5. Chris

    <pop> <yelp> <pop><yelp>

    epic - night vision goggles for the win!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i just...

    ...wet my pants. the PFY sure gets what the PFY wants :)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    That is all.

  8. Mark

    BOFH better watch it, though

    After a while the peons will discover there's no point in trying to be nice to the BOFH or PFY in the hope that they will get help from them in the future.

    And everyone has a fridge....

  9. ben

    if only

    Paintballs at work would be ........ugh.....i cant bring myself to think about it its too good.....urgrhghrghrhg

  10. Timothy


    It has been awhile since I truly laughed out loud - priceless!

  11. Anonymous Coward


    as work is having a xmas party this afternoon. Time to put those paintballs in liquid Nitrogen for that "extra good" feeling.

  12. Gordon Grant
    Thumb Up

    They should have seen..........

    that one coming. I mean both the PFY and BOFH saying paintball, it was bound to happen.

    I'm surprised though the BOFH didn't have any erm "surprises" waiting near where the treasure was by accident...

  13. Anonymous Coward


    Just Brilliant,

    Its my works xmas part tonight.... I think I need to go get some night vision equipment....

  14. Riscyrich
    Thumb Up


    Kind of expected all the presents to be replaced with software from Ep38.

    Having been paintballing recently on a stag do where the condemed and his best man had to run the gaunlet to get their weapons during the final round (i.e. use up all ur leftover paintballs) this really made me laugh...

    Hope we see a few more BOFH's before xmas...


  15. Phil Churchill
    Thumb Up

    Got me laughing...

    Love it, love it, love it... Only question is whether the paintballs spent the night in the freezer again!

  16. uncle sjohie

    Well worth the wait

    and I hope we'll learn next week if they remembered to put the balls in the freezer?

  17. David Hendry
    Thumb Up

    Ahh Paintball

    Where would xmas be without a little paintball, although one does wonder if the PFY has frozen his balls again :)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    /tries to wipe silly grin off face

    Fails - goes to pub.

  19. Nic Brough
    Thumb Up


    Paintballs in the freezer are fantastic. Let's just say that the groom (who was so keen to go paintballing for his stag do) was very glad that the wedding was a month away...

  20. Darren Murphy

    And i thought they had gone soft

    Absolute class, i nearly needed a new monitor after that(must remember never to drink while reading the BOFH).

    I really thought they had given up on the paintball idea and offering to to share the christmas treasures should have set alarm bells ringing if not with the boss and director but the helldesk geeks should have known better,

    The only thing missing was Vagners Ride of the Valkeries or the music from Predator blaring out over the PA system.

    Roll on the New Year.

  21. Tim Robertson

    Merry Christmas

    Both to the BOFH and the PFY :)

  22. Matt Denny


    It's unlike the PFY to make such a generous move - unless it was part of a plan to lull everyone else into a false sense of security...

    Excellent, nonetheless!

    And paintballing really hurts if you aren't adequately prepared (speaking from experience, here!)

    Mine's the well-padded, ankle-length one with the extra-high collar...

  23. Anonymous Coward


    I have to admit that our cube farm would make for a great paintball scenario.

    I would volunteer for "securing the Director's Row".

  24. Anonymous Coward

    What a wonderfull idea

    In light of a recent managerial u-turn on the policy of working from home over Christmas that sounds like perfect retribution. Perhaps there's time to convince people a sedate pub lunch isn't the way to go. Now to implement the automatic building management system for having the shutters automatically close and lights go out at an opportune moment...

  25. CockKnocker
    Thumb Up


    Ive had dreams about slotting my colleagues with a paintball gun, Im gonna see if I can organise somthing for our xmas party, hehe

  26. Clive Galway

    Paintballs in the freezer...

    Is a myth, because:

    1) The paint in paintballs contain too high an oil content to freeze in a freezer.

    2) If you had high H20 content balls, H20 expands when frozen, so they would not fit down the barrel.

    3) The gelatine shell becomes extremely brittle at low temperatures, so they would shatter in the barrel.

  27. Nic Brough
    Thumb Up

    Oh, and...

    Where's JIMTHEBOSS with the follow up entertainment? I have loaded the freezer up and cranked it to maximum cooling...

  28. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Perfumed Garden Territory

    What a wonderfull idea, Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 5th December 2008 13:41 GMT

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    'pile' of treasure

    Of course, hidden in the depths of the pile of treasure there must've been a frozen paintball grenade!

    Excellent BOFH once again, thanks Simon.

  30. bob
    Thumb Up


    best for some time

  31. Rich Hardin
    Thumb Down


    The paintballs do not freeze, however the "brittle" shell becomes significantly harder. If you combine that with an overpressure cannister (which I am certain the PFY has) you can achieve a savage bruising overkill for the plebes.

    (Thumbs down for the fallen...)

  32. Fluffykins Silver badge
    Paris Hilton


    Can thaw my b......

    Oh it'll probably get deleted

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Put the paintballs in the freezer, why did I never think of this /writes note to self. Now if only the xmas parties at any place I've ever worked at were like this, I'd be much happier this time of year. Once again a choice BOFH offering Simon.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    The Urban Myth of frozen paintballs ....

    should have been put to rest long ago. Mind you, a well chilled paint ball does tend to transfer a lot more kinetic energy to one point before distributing its contents onto the target.

    I have not as yet tried immersion in liquid nitrogen though. Anyone know the solidification point of the fish-oil based contents?

    Now if they had gotten just a wee bit more creative and supplemented the contents of the paint balls with more interesting materials.

    One wonders - oh like, the perfume / cologne worn on a regular basis by the office hotty / hunk - would make for interesting explanations to now former significant others / spouses of either gender or persuasion.

    The gift that keeps on giving...


  35. Wayne
    Thumb Down

    Paintball Mythology?

    Some paintballs will freeze. IT all depends on the mix. If there is a high propylene glycol content then they will obviously freeze at a lower temp or refuse to freeze.

    From what I remember HPB used to make a paintball that froze effectively.

  36. Alien8n


    Everyone knows the best way to get the most from paintballs is to use CO2 charges and hold the barrel down (so when you do eventually shoot the CO2 has had a chance to really build up to give the paintball that extra kick out of the barrel)

  37. Herby

    Frozen Paintballs

    On an episode of "How Its Made" (Canadian produced show shown in USA) they did a thing on paintballs. Turns out that in the show they were made of perfectly edible innards. In that case they just might freeze. In any event, ones that had been "conditioned" at a lower temperature would be more painful on impact. I for one would want to be on PFY's team!

  38. Anonymous Coward

    How Easily Distracted

    Funny, someone writes paintballs in the freezer then people start thinking, "oh, they must be assuming water and that it must freeze".

    All it has to do is become more viscous to have the intended result, we're not arguing about putting one through 4 inches of concrete. Ideally it will be cold enough that it does not break open upon impact, it's much easier to hit your target after they've fallen down from slipping on little balls all over the floor, 'course an extra couple packs of BBs or a quart of oil on the floor would tend to reduce the number of reloads needed.

  39. Dan
    Gates Horns


    Ah yes paintball, a feared sport by my last manager. Even more so as I play Tournament Paintball and have my own kit lol Strangely no one wanted to play a spot of fun team building paintball against me .......can't think why MWUHA HA HA HA !!!!

  40. Dan
    Thumb Up

    Frozen paintballs paintballs in

    Putting paintballs in the freezer will make them more brittle and prone to breaking more easily. Which defeats the idea really. What you want to get are some really cheap and nasty punter site paintballs, rather than the top end ones. The cheapest ones are like marbles :D

  41. Dave Ingram


    No, I don't mean put an Aucklander in the paint gun. I've been told that the lovely choc-orange sweets are the right diameter for the pain gun (or 'marker' as the Ozzies call them).

  42. Jon Tocker

    @ Dan

    Nothing sobers casual sporters more than someone fronting up with their own tackle - be it bowling ball, pool cue or paintball marker and face mask...

    The term "friendly game" ceases to have any meaning at that point.

    Dave Ingram: you put the Jaffas(tm) /in/ the marker, you put the JAFAs /in front of/ the marker...

    Jon (in Hamilton, NZ)

  43. Andy Worth

    Re:Paintballs in the freezer

    You don't need to freeze the paintball completely, just keeping them at a relatively low temperature keeps the shell more stiff and means that they flex less in the air (and thus fly more straight). But then I'm going back nearly 18 years to when I used to go paintballing more or less every week.

    If you buy decent paintballs, you don't gain any advantage from doing this these days.

    As for freezing the shell, well unless your gun is very gentle on the balls (!!!??!) then you'll end up with them shattering and exploding inside your barrel when you fire.

    I think that the most painful thing I've ever been hit with (from a paintball gun) was probably a boiled sweet. Unless you count the time that I was shot in the knackers from point-blank range, which hurt quite a lot more.....

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh yes

    And what about a Dulux mortar shell????

  45. Bastiaan van Zwieten

    No need to freeze the balls

    Just buy some boxes of paintball-balls and forget about them for a year (or two).

    The outside will harden very well with age and makes great cuts in soft flesh.

    There is a reason for those safety goggles ...

  46. Jon Tocker

    Paintball is great team-building!

    Building cameraderie and teamwork in /your/ team against /someone else's/ team.

    My top shot: someone rounded a tree and I swung up the marker onehanded and fired an instinctive shot - which got him in the forehead just above the face mask.

    My top hit: I felt a light tap on my stomach and looked down at the splatter of yellow paint. I couldn't see the shooter and I could tell by the lack of force that 'd been tagged at a phenomenal distance. When I got back to the base to register the hit, the bloke who'd tagged me was there - he'd been tagged an instant after he'd tagged me. Fantastic shooting on his part.

    Would love to go out and practise more often.

  47. YumDogfood

    Hg painballs

    That should hurt. Maybe freeze every other ball, just for some variety.

  48. Anonymous Coward

    so if they're sufficiently cooled

    It becomes PAINBALL!

  49. mittfh

    Another idea...

    As well as replacing the oil, how about replacing the pigment / dye with something a little more permanent than the standard water-based wash-out stuff? :)

    As an added spot of fun, since it's taking place in the office, accidentally-on-purpose leave a few patch cables lying around...

  50. Sandra Greer
    Paris Hilton

    Men are strange

    I'm not going to your office party!

    Whatshername because I don't think she would attend either. Blokes have a STRANGE idea of fun!

  51. Anonymous Coward


    So you consider posting ever-so-slightly tongue-in-cheek comments about life in an alternate universe where company bosses have the strange habit of falling down stairwells or lift shafts (while the sadistic sysadmins look on with glee, having instigated the "accident") strange?

    I'd consider wittering on endlessly about male celebrities and/or clothes shopping, ad infinitum, whenever and wherever two females meet, slightly on the strange side...

    Then again, commenting on El Reg is the nearest I ever get to a social life...I wonder why... :D

  52. Christopher Scholfield

    RE: Anonymous Coward and the Dulux Mortar Shell

    Shouldn't be too hard really. Mr Bean had the right idea with the paint can with a stick of dynamite in it!

    Now all we need it a way of hurling it without being a sitting target. I was thinking of sitting far outside the field with a trebuchet with a walkie talkie waiting for teammates to call in a strike.

    That depends on if you actually have someone on your side rather than just yourself (and the PFY). Of course, you could always pick up a set off binoculars and guide them in yourself.

    Now, if only someone can come up with a paint gatling cannon...

    PS I've just signed up to post on the BOFH forums. Why, oh why, doesn't the Reg have Sysadmin listed in their job title section!

  53. Sandra Greer

    Blokes' idea of fun

    Hey, I'm a big BOFH fan! Never "witter on" about celebrities/clothes. Started in the punch card days, and wear my feminism proudly, along with lower pay.

    Must say, we had a brief IT management meeting today, and predictably, the BOFH Dept Manager suggested paintball. He was not exactly rejected by the CIO guy or the other guys, although we won't do it because most of our folks, being women, would not appreciate it.

    Now I'm not saying that he doesn't read The Reg. He may do so. But it is just as likely that he is swimming in the same ocean as the Honorable BOFH of The Reg. Thus, blokes. In the current universe.

    I share in the general joy at fantasies of electrocuting lusers with rigged test equipment, locking them in the tape safe, etc. I live in that alternate universe too.

    I was astonished, however, to hear all the reminiscence of real paintball participation! Thus my conclusion that blokes have a strange idea of fun, especially if it hurts.

  54. NukEvil

    Paintball markers? Soooo 90's...

    Some people tear down their lawnmowers/old cars/golf carts and build paintball assault vehicles out of them...

    A link to a main paintball site:

    A link to a bunch of pics of paintball assault vehicles:

    Looks like fun...sort of...

  55. Jon Tocker

    In my mailbox from our work Social Club:

    "Paintball......Anyone keen?"

    Replied and told him it was a bit too early in the day for silly bloody questions.

    @ Sandra Greer: A couple of the women in our IT department are enthusiastic participants in paintball and one of them is extremely good at it. Quite an accurate shot.

    So it's not a "bloke thing", you're just being "sexist" :-P

  56. jack


    "Paintball," the PFY continues, handing what feels like a holster and some night vision goggles to me in the dark...

    if this were my workplace that would read "incendiary rounds" vs. paintball and by 'what feels like a holster'

    would be replaced by the phrase 'plenty of extra clips'....the great unwashed should have seen it coming...

    i'll get the extra clips from here.........suckers

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