austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

It takes two to fail cause one can only reach out

Running all day at the Michigan Pinball Expo were a couple of tournaments. One was a women's tournament, and bunny_hugger had hoped to play in that. I'm glad there is a women's tournament, and it's gratifying that many of the folks we know in pinball are supportive of such. Pinball has a long and pretty nasty sexist history and everything that can be done to make it more accessible, more friendly, and more welcome to people should be done. To qualify for the tournament people would play a round of Metallica, with the best (eight? Something like that) scores going on to match play. CST particularly advised bunny_hugger to play because he was confident she'd do well.

Unfortunately, she didn't. Metallica is a game she's played before and done quite respectably on; I believe she'd gotten several times forty or fifty million points on it. This table was set to tournament settings, the rules set to be particularly unforgiving, but even so that morning we'd played that specific table in our team competition and she came out well above ten million points. In the qualifiers, though, she just could not get better than three million points, well below what would qualify.

Nothing much seemed able to budge her score, though. She'd tried at several times during the day, and after taking breaks and resting and eating and playing other machines. She even played one of the exhibitor's Metallica games, not the one for qualifying. That one was set on a two-ball mode and she put up something like seventeen million points on that. Surely, even if the qualifier table was on harder settings, coming off seventeen million points in two balls would indicate she could at least break five million points in three, right?

And so that's how the women's tournament became a second ego-damaging contest for the day. Also an expensive one, since each try at the game cost something more. I couldn't avoid thinking of how MWS had cried out, after his disappointing showing in Pittsburgh last month, that he was done with pinball. We would hear later that in the actual women's tournament the qualifying players didn't have games better than three million points too, but that didn't help the feeling any.

And then there's the tournament I played in.

Trivia: 35 of the United States lost population between April 1940 and November 1943. Source: Don't You Know There's A War On?, Richard Lingeman.

Currently Reading: Hoboes, Bindlestiffs, Fruit Tramps, And The Harvesting Of The West, Mark Wyman.

PS: Reading the Comics, April 27, 2015: Anthropomorphic Mathematics Edition, my first group of mathematically-themed comic strips since the last roundup. And there's like three comics that can be described as anthropomorphizing numbers or mathematical concepts. That's enough for me.

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