Last week’s League Night (the third of Season 4) found us at peak attendance. I remember well the days when we played three games every league night; now we usually have to play four to accommodate the number of players. This time, though, the crowd was 18 strong and we had to go up to five games! We had three new players: Craig, Matt W., and Mike B. I met Craig but somehow failed to get introduced to Matt and Mike, which is just as well as I might have tried to send them away for putting us over our quota for Matts and Mikes. Especially Mikes. We may as well rename this the Mikes’ League.
As noted in my preview, since I have been keeping this blog, we have had a perfect streak of never playing all the games we were scheduled to play. At least one has always broken down or caused some problem that removed it from consideration at the last minute. This time we did play all the games Matt P. had chosen (Austin Powers, World Cup Soccer, Junk Yard, and Medieval Madness). We also played one additional game to accommodate the high turnout, Theatre of Magic. This led to a disagreement afterward over whether the streak had been broken. I held that we did not play exactly the games listed in the preview because we played one extra game, so the streak continued. Matt P. and others insisted that all that was needed to break the streak is that all the games included in the preview actually get played.
One of the amusing incidents of the night concerned a theory I have recently arrived at regarding Chris’s pinball skill. The previous weekend, Mike S. had reported to me that he witnessed Chris play a 400 million point game of The Simpsons Pinball Party at the Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids, and drained his last three balls because he got tired of playing. Given the brutality with which The Simpsons treats most of us in the Lansing League, I told Mike that Chris had clearly sold his soul at the crossroads for pinball prowess. Chris is now aware of my theory, and I note that he has neither confirmed nor denied it. So, then: at league night, I heard someone joke, “I call him Dr. Tabbak.” I replied, “I call him Dr. Faust,” which immediately got a rejoinder from Chris (“I heard that, Dr. Kendrick!”) despite the fact that he was quite some distance away playing Junk Yard.
“I didn’t think he could hear me!” I said.
“I hear everything,” came the reply.
“That really doesn’t help disprove my theory.”
We hadn’t gotten to play Medieval Madness in quite some time. Its return was received with mixed emotions. Some people (including me) love it. Some, not so much. Joseph informs me that sometime during Ball 2 of Medieval Madness, Chris cried out in anguish, “This game is so boring!” He then intentionally drained his ball in a fit of ennui. There were a lot of high scores on this one. In my group, I was quite pleased with my 25 million… until Russell did something around 69 million.
After league play wrapped up, a group went over to Theio’s for what is now becoming the traditional after-party. This was the largest Theio’s group yet, including Jake (the instigator), Sam, Matt P., Aaron, Mike S., Greg, Sarah, Alex, Joseph, and me. Things got pretty raucous, though Aaron said that they would probably be delighted if we were the worst group they ever got there. Jake continues to be intrigued by my other hobby, roller coasters, and I attempted to chat with Sarah a little bit about it too as she is also a roller coaster fan; unfortunately the fact that we were on the opposite ends of a really long table meant the conversation didn’t get very far.
Our next league night, which will bring us to the midpoint of the season, will be February 24. The heat is on: the distance between first and second places (Chris and Alex, respectively) is far smaller than it was in previous seasons after this many meetings. The results are posted, so you can see for yourself. I also loaded a batch of photos from the night into the photo gallery. See you next week!