The selected games for the second meeting of Season 5 were Fish Tales (new at the Avenue), World Cup Soccer, Medieval Madness, and Getaway. Chris was so excited about the prospect of playing Fish Tales’ video mode that he kept saying “I want to shoot waterskiers!” in, for some reason, a Marvin the Martian voice. I asked him, “Why are you Marvin the Martian?” and he replied, in the same voice, “I don’t know.” If he doesn’t know I certainly don’t. It will have to remain one of the mysteries of League Night #2, alongside why I’ve forgotten how to shoot the castle and whether anyone has ever successfully used the Magna-Save in World Cup Soccer. (Joseph did in fact try to use it, which is more than I have ever done. Aaron once again asserted that he only ever uses it ironically.)
Greg was absent this week, due to having moved from the area. Word on the street is that he will be coming to league meetings irregularly from here on out. I ended up running into him when he made up his league games the following week. (No, not literally, even if sabotaging his scores would have helped my awful performance. I swear, I wasn’t even tempted.) Mark, on the other hand, made a reappearance after missing the season opener.
After my rage-tilting during last League Night, I had pledged to show better sportsmanship henceforth. It took exactly one ball of Getaway to break that resolution. My group had begun with Getaway. I stepped up as Player 3 to play my first ball, and had an amazing ball by my standards, including a multiball jackpot and several consecutive upper loops. I thought I was on top of the world. When I drained I turned to my group, about to remark on my good fortune… to be told, “You realize you just played the third ball of a single player game, right?” Apparently, the first player accidentally started a single game, and no one (including the second player, and me) noticed until I was midway through my ball, at which time everyone was afraid to interrupt me to break the news. I was so crushed by this revelation that I shouted “What?” and then turned around and began shaking Getaway. Marrying Joseph certainly did not grant me any share of his stoicism, to my regret.
The last game of the night for my group was Medieval Madness. We had to wait a while for the prior group to finish. Eventually they were down to their last ball and the final player, Jake, was nowhere to be found. Someone looked around for him and eventually found him hanging around out back with a crowd of folks whose games had finished. It turns out he had pulled a Mike S., thinking his game was over when he actually had a ball left.
Chris had a strong first place finish this week, despite being cheated out of a ball of Fish Tales by a mechanical failure, but he still has a long way to go to make up the ground lost by slam tilting Junk Yard during the first meeting. Aaron and Mike S. tied for second, with Mark at fourth and Alex and Joseph tying for fifth. In the overall season standings, Alex is still on top, but with Mike S. only four points behind. Joseph has narrowly pulled into third, one point ahead of Sarah at fourth. The reigning league champion, Chris, has his work cut out for him at seventh.
Instead of the traditional Theio’s visit, Jake and Mike S. wanted to go to the Chinese restaurant next door to the Avenue, so that’s where they ended the night, alongside Joseph, Sam, and me. There was some concern expressed that the Theio’s staff might have hurt feelings over our absence, but somehow I suspect they weathered any disappointment with grace.