For the sixth meeting of Season 4, we were slated to play Austin Powers, Getaway, Indiana Jones, and Lord of the Rings, with Attack from Mars as the contingency game for a turnout over 16. I knew this was almost certainly not going to happen because Austin Powers had still been unplayable when I visited the Avenue the night before. For weeks now, a ball has been stuck in the bonus lanes due to a bit of debris lodged there. All it would take to fix would be for someone to open the glass and clear the lane, so I can’t understand why it hadn’t been fixed yet (and still hasn’t, as of Friday night). Meanwhile, Addams Family was back, but could not be played either due to intermittently failing to load balls even after a ball search. Since exactly 16 people showed up (a close enough call that people kept re-counting), we only needed to play four games, so Attack from Mars ended up replacing Austin Powers. No one wept.
I got put into a group with Joseph, Matt P., and Greg, which brought back memories of Season 1, when we were all regulars in a smaller league. I hadn’t been grouped with Joseph in quite some time. The highlight of our group’s play for the night was Matt destroying the Ring, which managed to overshadow my own game of Lord of the Rings which, while not up to wizard standards, was very good by my own lights. I need to learn not to talk while I play, though. I almost always lose concentration, followed by my ball. At one point I had a Gollum multiball going and was tearing things up, then decided it would be funny to reply to one of Gollum’s utterances with “Shut up, Gollum, I’m trying to concentrate!” I was well aware of the irony when my blathering distracted me just enough to cause a double drain.
Our group’s night ended with an unfortunate incident on Getaway wherein we had to replay the game due to a slam tilt. This one was decreed to be no one’s fault; the ball got stuck in the lock during Greg’s game, and the slam tilt happened when Matt tried to dislodge it for him. We replayed without incident, but a little while later, another bit of bad luck happened as Indiana Jones decided to break at the end of Chris’s game. The idol rotor lock decided it wanted to keep all the balls for itself and could not be coaxed to spit any out. The game has, unfortunately, been broken ever since, which has stopped James from being able to do a makeup for his missed league game.
Earlier in the night, Jake had told me that he would have to bow out of Theio’s this time, as he and Sam had tickets for a punk show at Mac’s Bar. Eventually he talked Mike S. into going too. By the time my league games were over, the two of them were already long gone. Joseph and I stuck around playing games with Greg until I got a call from Mike. The show was over and he and Jake were at Theio’s; did we want to meet them there? We finished up a game of Theatre of Magic, Greg bowed out, and Joseph and I headed to Theio’s. When we arrived, we found the trio looking rather worse for wear. Jake informed me that he could barely hear anything I was saying over the ringing in his ears. Mike’s face was bright red and he was acting a bit addled. Sam was mostly quiet and seemed worn out, though seemed the best off of the bunch, perhaps indicating he went a bit less crazy at the show. Evidently it was rather exciting. According to Jake, Mike had managed to get up front and stay there through the entire show, hanging onto a lighting rig or something to keep himself from being swept back by the crowd. Mike showed off some spectacular bruises from the adventure, in between eagerly shoveling Eggs Louie (which he kept calling an “omelet” even as Jake insisted that it was certainly not an omelet) into his face.
Eventually, after quite a bit of lingering over midnight brunch, we all went our separate ways, and that was the end of another fun-filled league night. Although Matt P. had an impressive first place finish two weeks in a row, Chris did well enough to regain his top spot in the season rankings and knock Alex down to second. As always, you can see the complete results here (pending James’s makeup game on Indiana Jones) and I have a few more photos up in the gallery too. Though I usually end by saying “see you next time,” I’m very sorry to say I can’t do that this time. Joseph and I will be missing Tuesday’s meeting to go see Walk the Moon in Detroit – my first absence since joining the league. So I’ll end with this instead. Hey Walk the Moon: you had better play a damn good show, because I am missing pinball for you. I expect to hear “Anna Sun” at least three times.