Tuesday, November 4th, was the sixth meeting of eight for Season 3 of the League. It was also the eve of my birthday, so I was looking forward to a celebratory night of pinball as consolation for turning a certain milestone age. No, not 21. Flattery will get you nowhere.
The original plan, dictated by Matt’s random selection, was to play Attack from Mars, The Addams Family, Indiana Jones, and Junk Yard. Shortly before the league meeting, Addams went down and was slated to be replaced by Austin Powers. By the time the meeting actually began, Addams had been repaired, so it was placed back into the schedule. During practice games, however, Mike “the Gremlin” Stewart slam tilted Junk Yard, showing that it was still oversensitive to nudging (the trouble that knocked it out of the rotation last league night). Chris declared that he wasn’t about to risk having his game slam tilted into oblivion by “King Kong Stewart,” so Junk Yard was removed from the roster once again and Austin Powers came back in. It’s a shame that we haven’t been able to play Junk Yard as a league game in a very long time, since it’s a game I’ve been warming to. I hope they will get that tilt sensor straightened out before next league night.
Just because it was almost my birthday did not mean anyone went easy on me, and that includes the games. I had an especially catastrophic Attack from Mars, scoring something like 240 million, which you can get just by sneezing at that game. Maybe I should have sneezed a bit harder.
I wasn’t alone in having a dismal night. Jake was also in my group and repeatedly had to threaten to rough the machines up to teach them a lesson for insulting him. In the end he did beat me out this week by 1 point, which he later thanked me for letting him have, saying that it showed I was the bigger person. He then added a complaint that I had not worn the “Luke Perry” hair. Sadly, due to my Tuesday work schedule and having trouble getting my carpool mates out the door in a hurry (somehow I just don’t think they realize the great urgency of getting to pinball league, despite my attempts to impress this upon them) I usually don’t have time to fully transform from “professor” to “pinballer” before getting over to the Avenue.
We had a new joiner this week, Matt’s friend James. I had previously met James at the Avenue on Halloween, but I had to introduce myself nonetheless. The last time he saw me I had been in a rabbit costume that completely covered my face. I probably should have worn it again, because despite the costume giving me only a few inches of blurry visibility around the flippers, my scores were no worse and possibly slightly better than some of my league night results. (Have I mentioned I had a bad night?) It’s great to have another new member of the league and James seems to fit right in.
Tuesday was Election Day as well as league night, and James was frustrated that they would not let him change the channel on the bar’s TV because people wanted to watch election returns. He really could not see the point of watching, since, as he put it, “Someone is either going to win or not. There’s nothing to watch!” I avoided looking at the returns myself as I figured it was not likely to improve my night. That was almost certainly for the best.
To the best of my knowledge, besides the Junk Yard slam tilt sensitivity, no one broke any games during league play this time. During a non-league game, however, Aaron managed to get a ball irretrievably stuck above the Bazaar scoop on Tales of the Arabian Nights. I overheard someone spreading the news about this and adding, “I’ve already got a picture.” Congratulations to Aaron in joining the honor roll of famous stuck balls, including Joseph’s ball on top of the castle tower in Medieval Madness and Chris’s ball stuck inside the slingshot of Indiana Jones.
Despite ongoing rumors that he may reappear, Russell was still absent tonight. When I demanded to know where he was, I was told that he had chosen to go to yoga instead as he “needed to find his center.” Suuuuure. I think he was afraid to find his center – the one right between the flippers!
In the current standings, Chris is still far in the lead at #1 and Rodney’s #2 position still looks secure. The real battle continues to be for third place. Thanks to a rough night, Aaron has dropped three places to #6, and Mike has passed him, moving up one spot to #5. Joseph recovered a bit of lost ground, moving up from #5 to #4, and Matt moved up from #4 into the coveted #3 position. The distance between third and sixth is only 14 points, so with two meetings to go, anyone in this cluster could still take third.