Men with a Mission: Power of the puma
By: Wouter van de Zandschulp

Last night I was walking through the woods with my girlfriend, when we thought about how a puma was seen there not long ago. So my girlfriend tried to scare me with puma-like comments and scaring me can be way too easy. Of course I carried a little stick to defend her if necessary. Not quite a light saber, but I pretended it to be of course.

After a while we heard some cracking in the bushes and we also saw a deer ran away. We saw no other person around and it was getting dark and of course my girlfriend pretended to have lost the way we had to walk.

When you are a Wouter like me, things can get scary then. Of course I walked on bravely, but with my imagination, I got some idea of real fear and danger. And I thought about role-playing. And crazy enough, this sort of helped. Like being in fights there just the night before would help me fight of this vicious puma. It sort of was like I would be role-playing for real.

But sadly, I had not character sheets, no dice to throw at him, no cola bottle to hit him with. Luckily I also had not screaming friends around. Though they would probably scare him off. But still...

Feeling danger a bit more for real is not as much fun as in the role-play-event. Though it can give a bit of a thrill, if you are crazy enough. So the wanting of adventure in role-playing-games can be translated some bit to real life. People sometimes want the adventure to be more real too. That's when they go to LARP-events.

Though, in reality, LARP-ing may be more dangerous then that whole puma. When it comes down to it, this is just one animal tracking through the entire country, avoiding humans and sometimes eating a deer or so. But the sighting of this puma around here makes this normal and natural animal to some kind of hype. Not for long will tourist be able to buy 'I-saw-the-puma'-shirts and take their pictures with a fake puma. Run, hyped animal, run!

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