As I have not yet completely worked out my strategy for quitting my job and devoting myself to a life of pinball hedonism, I have been kept busy by the end-of-term crunch. As a result I sadly did not find time to write my usual League Night Recap for 12/2/14. This is too bad especially since it was an exciting finale that saw the third place position decided by a mere 5 points. (Joseph still cannot believe he has gotten good enough for third place, but I don’t think he’s about to give it back either.)
Speaking of Joseph, remember the League Night Preview for 12/2/14? The one in which Joseph was said to be scoffing at the idea we would play Getaway, due to its track record of breaking every league night? Well, during practice, the launcher broke again. Matt responded by yelling “damn it, Joseph!” and accusing him of having jinxed it. Naturally, I rushed to Joseph’s defense by blaming Mike the Gremlin instead, which Matt was willing to agree to. Mike pointed out that he had not been playing it, but I said that his mere presence is enough to cause things to malfunction.
Anyway, it’s official: we have not once actually played all the games on my League Night Preview. Man plans, the gods of pinball laugh.
Getaway was replaced with World Cup Soccer, which I was initially excited about — Getaway usually hates me, WCS usually treats me gently — but in the end my generally bad night did not take a break. I had finally started to recover on my third ball of WCS, when I got too desperate to save my ball and tilted, losing a bonus that was probably 100M or more. Joseph told me to remember what Chris told me: “If you’re not tilting, you’re not playing.” Unfortunately, as a trained logician, I know that this does not entail that if you are tilting you are playing and I am pretty sure I was not playing. On the bright side, my group’s game of WCS did lead to a remark by Aaron that gets my coveted “Quote of the Night” distinction. While (or possibly just after) losing a ball, he hit the Magna-Save, and I remarked that I never think to use it. He replied, “I only use it ironically.”
Our other games for the night were The Walking Dead, Junk Yard, and Monster Bash. As far as I know, no one slam tilted Junk Yard this time, so there’s a small victory. I am all too familiar with The Walking Dead — in fact with that exact table since the high score table betrayed it as the one that has just left The Arcade in Brighton — and as usual the magnet threw the ball straight down the middle for me. Or that’s my excuse, anyway. A semi-decent game on Monster Bash is the only thing that saved my pride.
Tonight also saw the return of Russell at long last, whose single night of play will guarantee him a high-ranking partner for the Zen Tournament, which was surely his plan all along.
Although my disappointing night lost me the 10th place finish I was hoping for (as it would equal my last season placement), this has been a great season for me overall, and a great year of learning the joys of pinball. Thanks very much to Matt for starting and organizing the league, without which I would never have discovered this amazing hobby.
Tonight is our traditional post-season Zen Tournament. Two-person teams are set up by pairing the highest and lowest ranked person, then the second highest and second lowest, and so on. Then it’s one person to each flipper for a double elimination tournament. Part of the fun is that no one knows who the teams are going to be until it starts, since it’s impossible to predict exactly who will show up. Well, except for the people who are guaranteed to show up; you would need dynamite to keep me away.