Bill Moore encourages his friends to shoot each other in their sleep ... with a squirt gun.
"It's very much an experiment in fear," he says of the city-wide squirt-gun assassination tournament he organizes. "People have said they had no idea how paranoid or fearful they could be."
"I started taking my gun to the bathroom," adds fellow organizer Mathew Schmidt. "I wouldn't answer the door."
Moore, 24, of Bellevue and Schmidt, 25, of the South Side, are a couple of Art Institute grads who've been organizing their games, modeled on a New York City tourney, since last summer. They're recruiting players for the first tournament of this season, which begins April 28. More tournaments will follow.
Players submit a dossier on themselves, including a photo, home address, phone number and e-mail addresses, and each person gets one target dossier. A "kill" is made when the target gets shot with a watergun or bombed with a water balloon, and the killer takes over his victim's target. Play continues until only one person is left alive.
"The first game we played, we [gave out] names on Monday but we said it didn't start until Wednesday at midnight," says Schmidt. "Wednesday at midnight, I went over to our friend's house in Dormont. I saw him sleeping on the couch. I kicked in the door and shot him all these times. He was totally freaking out."
Sometimes the winner gets a share of everyone's $5 entry fee, says Moore. "Some games they just win adoration and fame and whatever, bragging rights." Organizers haven't decided which way the upcoming tournament will go.
One player who goes by the nom de guerre Balls Deep, says Moore, was managing to evade the full-camo stakeout of another player, Santa Liquer, by hauling ass from his front door to his truck too quickly for Santa Liquer to whip out his Super Soaker. So one night, Santa Liquer wrapped Balls Deep's truck in Saran Wrap. "He had about 10 seconds of 'what the hell?' and Santa Liquer had a few minutes to get out and make the kill," Moore says.
Marvels Schmitt: "This is the same guy who hid in my stinky, sweltering apartment hallway for hours to get me."