austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Ah but the great taste of Coke has refreshed players

That pinball hipster bar in Grand Rapids hosts a tournament every month, and this month's was a pinball golf tournament and what with it being at the start of Spring Break and all bunny_hugger and I went. We also carpooled with our pinball pal MWS, who'd be off to the Professional and Amateur Pinball Association tournament in Pittsburgh ... well, right this weekend, in fact.

We got to the bar actually about an hour before their open, since we'd figured to have lunch before starting play. The security alarm was howling, which we hoped it was supposed to be doing. MWS texted the bar's owner and learned that yeah, the alarm was set off by accident when (Name) entered the security code wrong and everything was actually fine.

Since we had time we went to Stella's Lounge, across the street, which has a renowned hamburger selection that they boast gets routinely voted best in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the United States, or the World, depending on the scope of the magazine doing the review. I did get one of their (several) veggie burgers and, yeah, it's pretty solid. The patty was a bit looser than a proper beef burger would have been, but it had a rather good mouth feel, and that makes a big difference in vegetarian burgers. bunny_hugger got the imitation chicken wings which this time had the proper hot sauce infusion and those are also great.

We had expected that since we got there around 3 pm on a Sunday that things would be at least somewhat sluggish, and were fantastically wrong. Apparently late Sunday afternoons are the brunch rush for Grand Rapids hipster bar/restaurants. This did give us time to play their pinball machines, though, including FunHouse --- bunny_hugger and I both got seven-digit scores on it, which meant that on the old LED screen our scores blended together, to something reading like ``10,450,87022,284,400'', which you'd have to admit would be a pretty good number on any machine --- and the 1990 Simpsons. I'd thought of that as a pretty dull game back in the day, although bunny_hugger pointed out how crammed the artwork is with first-season Simpsons jokes and motifs, including some that have been extremely forgotten by time. So I'm starting to warm to it, I think. It helps that given the noise of the bar there's no hearing the game, so its endless repetition of nearly four catchphrases hasn't got the chance to wear so thin.

Since we started lunch late, we didn't wander back over to the Pyramid Scheme and the tournament until a good bit after 4 pm, its nominal opening and starting time. We figured, though, how long could nine little pinball challenges take?

Trivia: For his late 1910s and early 1920s vaudeville persona Fred Allen appeared with a ventriloquist dummy, named Jake; he dressed and made up himself to match Jake. Source: Fred Allen: His Life And Wit, Robert Taylor.

Currently Reading: Debt: The First 5000 Years, David Graeber.

Tags: pinball

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