July 7 was opening night for Season 5. It’s amazing to think we are starting a fifth season already! In addition to most of the usual suspects, we had a new joiner, the Avenue’s own Jimmy, and the return of one of the original League stalwarts, Amanda, who had temporarily dropped out in favor of volleyball. What’s so great about volleyball, anyway? All you do is hit a ball around and try to stop it from falling. I don’t see the point.
Mike S., Joseph, and I arrived early so that we could play a board game, Betrayal at House on the Hill. I had mentioned it to Mike at one point upon hearing that he is a horror movie fan, since the game pays homage to a lot of classic horror movies and novels. We brought it to play at the Arcade in Brighton once and since then Mike’s been hooked on it. Fine by me; I love playing it and don’t get to often as it requires more than just two people to play. The game’s plot is different each time, and this time I ended up being a mad professor who tried to summon an Elder God. Somehow, Joseph and Mike managed to seal the portal I’d opened and win the game. Admittedly none of this has anything to do with pinball, but it was a lot of fun. We got done in time for half an hour or so of warming up.
Our games for the night included the newly-installed Iron Man as well as Austin Powers, Tales of the Arabian Nights, and Junk Yard. Joseph and I helpfully powered TotAN up and down several times until we triumphantly got the sound working again. Later, when Matt P. arrived, he cried out in disappointment upon hearing the sound was back, as it turns out he prefers it silent. Well, tough. It’s not a game of TotAN unless I hear a crazed genie crowing about how she loves lightning.
My partners for the night were Chris, Amanda, and Jimmy. Chris was having a rather disappointing night by his standards and things weren’t going very well for me either, outside of a decent start on Iron Man. Jimmy was mostly soaking things up on his first night and getting advice about rules, especially from Joseph, who has a deft touch for explaining strategy in a non-overwhelming way to beginners.
Our last game of the night was to be Junk Yard, but we had to wait for Mike S.’s group to finish. Mike S. had disappeared after ball two, leaving his group wondering where he was when it came around to his turn again. It was suggested that he must be in the bathroom, but then someone spotted him upstairs and went to ask him what he was doing. He came down and admitted that he had forgotten he had a ball left. His first two balls went so badly that, thinking his game was over, he went upstairs to sulk. Once he realized he had another ball, he managed to finish very strong after all.
I was keeping score for my group and had already written down the names and player positions for each game, rotating everyone so that people took turns going first. I had Chris down as player two, so when player two was up I said, “It’s you, Chris.” He just stood there. I thought he hadn’t heard me so I said again that it was his turn. He said, “No, I’m going to go upstairs and play Austin Powers.” I looked at him with confusion, unsure how to respond. He said, “That was my Mike Stewart impression.” He then proceeded to slam tilt during his first ball. I didn’t ask whether that was also part of his Mike Stewart impression.
Thanks to Chris’s slam tilt, the rest of us had to start a new game, and Chris, according to league rules, took a 0, which unfortunately got him off to his worst start ever this season. He’s going to really have his work cut out for him catching up with Alex, who had a stellar opening night.
I had three very bad balls of Junk Yard and in the end was so frustrated that I did something I ended up being rather ashamed of, which is that I rage tilted. It started as an attempt to save a ball, but then after it was clear I lost the ball, I just started shaking it out of spite, and when it looked like it wasn’t going to tilt before my bonus counted, I grabbed it and gave it one more hard shake just to make sure I lost my bonus, then said, “There.” It felt good for about 10 seconds to do it, then I realized I had acted like a jerk in front of our new member, Jimmy. I’ve resolved to show better sportsmanship in future. If I can’t play like a professional, I can still act like one!
Aaron had to work late and so didn’t arrive until around the time everyone was leaving to go eat at Theio’s. I asked him where he worked (a certain restaurant with a typically older, sedate clientele), and that came around to some discussion of Aaron’s workplace. Jake suggested we should all show up there sometime for carousing. Aaron replied that he doesn’t even think they have shot glasses.
Rather than make up his games that night, Aaron decided to come back and do it another day, and we convinced him to come to Theio’s with us. The discussion at Theio’s ended up being especially raucous and I had to cover my face a few times because I was so embarrassed by the stuff people were coming up with. Sam also told us the story of how his mother got his sister to stop pleading with her to buy Wonder Bread by telling her it was made out of toilet paper. (This story was still so funny to him that he had trouble getting it out for laughing.) So, in other words, it was a good night.
As I write this I am about to get ready to gather up Betrayal and head over to the Avenue to meet Mike S. ahead of league play. I’m sorry my updates have been coming late recently, but my motto for blogging/journaling has always been “better late than never.” As always, I have the results for you and some more photos in the gallery. See you all soon!