austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

He'll save every one of us

The finals for the Main Tournament were less epic for us. bunny_hugger and I were in the playoffs. So was MWS, and most of our other core pinball friends. bunny_hugger and I got put in a playoff group together, along with BIL and that kid mentioned months back. The one we had vague, unquantifiable suspicions about his really good FunHouse selfie-league score. The kid was only a couple months older by July, naturally enough. But he had done that weird thing of growing up a fair bit over that time. He was appreciably less hyper in-between shots. He was generally more gracious, more mature. He still leaps in the air on making most any shot, but that's youthful enthusiasm for you. It's also amazing how someone can change in a short while.

The Main tournament would have the more modern games, naturally enough. We started on The Walking Dead, which I'd played well enough to get into the playoffs and not since. bunny_hugger had a similar qualifying experience. The kid had put up the highest score recorded in qualifying on The Walking Dead. He creamed us and solidly beat out BIL.

Next game was Corvette, a game I knew nothing about except it has all sorts of complicated, crowded shots. I put up a third-place finish sort of game, and bunny_hugger fourth-place, with scores that we today recognize as lousy. The kid won first place and so was a lock-in to advance to the semifinals. I could advance if I won and BIL got last or third place, or force to a tiebreaker if I got second place and he got last. bunny_hugger could force a tiebreaker with BIL if she got first place and he got last.

BIL came in last. bunny_hugger or I could move on by taking first place. We didn't get it. The kid got first place, and bunny_hugger second. I had a round of perfect third places. We were both out.

BIL would survive through the semifinals, and would in the tournament come in fourth place. The kid wouldn't make it through the semifinals; he ended in seventh place. The kid's father made it into the finals, and went home with third place. MWS made it through the first round but not the second, and finished in eighth place. CST would take second place. ADM would win the day and a truly awesome 32 points in the International Flipper Pinball Association rankings. That would be a bump of something like seven places up in the state rankings, at least for people like me and bunny_hugger dangling on the edge of state finals qualifying.

Well, so, we stuck around for the end, to root our friends on and play some games consoling ourselves with the idea we could too have played, just not when it counted. And we went out into the actual festival, although most of the special events were done by that hour. We walked along the streets of Fremont, occupied by the carnival rides and attractions and all that, and even got a ride in on the carousel. It was a fast one, doing something like six rotations per minute, although it was also chunky: the horses really fell back down. We'd see the carousel again in a few weeks.

We also looked in at the nearby Blind Squirrel Tavern. AJH has taken to running a not-technically-a-selfie-league there, in which people play six tables in the back room of the bar. We'd done this with MWS and CST once, back in February, although bad weather forced us to miss the finals. It's a bit of an IFPA points-generating racket. The design --- you're allowed to enter scores for any of the three ``weeks'' of playing anytime, with submission of a photo of your score, and everyone going into the bar is encouraged to put in a game, boosting the league's ``size'' and thus value. Thus this small tavern in a tiny town a half-hour into the backwoods from Muskegon has maybe the highest concentration of competitive-pinball scores in Michigan.

Anyway, we thought about putting in some games, so that we would qualify as part of the monthly tournament or the ``leagues'' that run across two months. Maybe we'd make the long hike back to Fremont. But there were already people in there, on each game. And MWS was in the car, napping and recovering from his disappointment. We had promised to get back to him in about an hour and that time was almost up. And besides, would we really be so desperate for IFPA points to qualify for state finals that going out to Fremont to harvest Blind Squirrel Tavern credits could be worth it?

Yeah yeah yeah but you'll have to wait to hear how that came around.

Trivia: The French Revolutionary Calendar used as the start of its new year the autumn equinox as observed at the Paris Observatory. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.

Currently Reading: Nessie: Exploring The Supernatural Origins of the Loch Ness Monster, Nick Redfern.

Tags: baby food festival, fremont, pinball
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