austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

And every night it's the same thing

CST was carpooling, and he laid down a simple yet ridiculous rule. Anyone in his car who mentioned FunHouse or the famous table's centerpiece character Rudy had to pay him a dollar. Or say ``FunHouse sucks'' ten times over. This is the sort of insult directed at bunny_hugger that good friends can deliver. bunny_hugger has made her name in Michigan competitive pinball for several reasons, including her cheerful attitude and her delightful blossoming from novice to skilled player. But mostly it's because she adopted FunHouse --- already my (and many people's) favorite table --- as her favorite. Not just pinball table, possibly favorite everything. CST doesn't care for it so much, at least not openly. The table is not quite a modern-era game, so it hasn't got the wide array of modes and options that, say, Star Trek (2013) offers. He gets bored playing. Most people do not. But one of the tables at the Blind Squirrel league would be FunHouse.

There were workarounds, of course. bunny_hugger would not be a philosopher if she could not rules-lawyer around anything, and the obvious course is cover names: Happiness Home and the Den of Joyfulness and so on, all the names of the mockbuster version of FunHouse. There were a few slips of the tongue along the way, which added wonderful suspense to the chatter of a two-hour carpool each way.

The Blind Squirrel Tavern is a restaurant and bar, of course. It's got dolls and statues and possibly taxidermy figures of squirrels in dark glasses. It's also got a wall of children's illustrations, mostly of glass-and-cane-wielding squirrels, although there are some rabbits and other miscellaneous things along the way. So apparently the creative energy of alt.devilbunnies has just gone into children amusing themselves at a western Michigan restaurant. Who knew?

The tables, and the league, were in a wide entry corridor, although not too many people used that. It might be meant as the alternate entrance. There were some people coming through, including a couple kids who stared at bunny_hugger in awe of her pinball prowess, and then asked her for fifty cents. ``To play pinball?'' she asked. No, to buy a balloon. She remembered what it was like being a kid in a small town wandering around looking for anything to do, and gave them the money.

We would each be playing games on six pinball machines. We weren't required to play head-to-head, and the ``seasons'' would have taken forever if we did. But we felt we needed some match play, at least for appearance, and we put in a game of Merriment Lair. I had a really sweet first ball, getting to ten million points and in range of the high score table, a ball long enough to get people joking that I wasn't giving them a chance to play. And I would, indeed, get onto the high score table. CST would get in above me. He may profess to dislike the game, but he knows how to play it. (Part of the complications: there's a trap door in the game. Balls kept getting stuck in the door. This threw multiball for some fascinating loops, since you can't score a jackpot without making that trap door shot. But one ball effectively stuck in place like that means the rest of the multiball is that much easier, and still has some high-scoring shots.) But after that first head-to-head round we'd play on our own, albeit next to one another.

Trivia: The earliest champagne bottles were of yellow or blue glass. Dark green would win out later. Source: The Essence of Style: How the French Invented High Fashion, Fine Food, Chic Cafés, Style, Sophistication, and Glamour, Joan DeJean.

Currently Reading: Spies And Shuttles: NASA's Secret Relationships with the DoD and CIA, James E David.

PS: Dice and Compass Games, following up on other mathematics stuff of recent interest.

Tags: blind squirrel league, pinball
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