austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Or a silly spook may sit by your side

You know what we always do in the Casino? Play pinball. You know what we never do? Play other stuff. Oh, video games sometimes, but not, like, the Whac-a-Mole games. And they've got a lineup of Whac-a-Mole machines with gloriously 1980s styling. This time, especially with the weather closing things down, we played some.

The Whac-a-Mole tables were in pretty rough shape. Some weren't taking money at all. Some had defects in their seven-segment LED scoreboards. Two of the eight had ``Temporarily Out Of Order'' signs on them. And we started to get the hang of it, even winning some number of tickets that the machines wouldn't print out. I did go to the front desk to report this and I don't remember if we got credit for the tickets we should've gotten.

Also not working: the pinball! Nearly all the machines were turned off, or had Temporarily Not Working signs on them, or wouldn't take quarters, or were Hercules. Travel Time, one of bunny_hugger's favorites --- and one she can routinely clean my clock on --- was gone altogether. There was at least one good game, Grand Prix, working tolerably well. But the pinball row was looking rough. Also a note of what tanks those games of the 70s were, given that they're at all functional through this.

Cedar Point also installed these miniature bowling games, much like we'd played at the entertainment center outside Kings Island in July, using small bowling balls and pins strung up to the internal machinery. We gave that a try and you know, even playing in winter coats, it's pretty fun. Also we got a good chunk of a free game on the next lane over, as it turned out some simple problem had locked up the machinery. It might have been as simple the ball had migrated from that lane over to ours. Anyway, the machinery reminded us of candlepin bowling as Moxie introduced us to.

The weather got a little better, and we got to some more rides, including the relocated bumper cars and the Tiki Twirl, formerly Calypso. And took in a show.

In 2016 we got to one of the, possibly the, last show of the magic-and-dance show at the Jack Aldrich Theatre. This year Cedar Point put in something else for the venue: the Midnight Syndicate. They'd played at Cedar Point in the past, as the music-and-dance-and-horror show at the Good Times Theater in what turned out to be its last day. According to news reports we found about it they'd had to reconfigure the show somewhat for the smaller venue, although not in ways that I thought hurt. They were able to bring some of the show out into the aisles, so that a show built on suggesting, you know, that there's something around the theater could be more immersive. It's a fun show, and I'm glad to have it back. It's just a shame to have lost the dance and magic show; there don't seem to be any magic shows left at Halloweekends and that's a loss.

With the night getting on, bunny_hugger had the thought maybe we'd be best try for Millennium Force. The ride always gets long lines, but it was now late at night on a chilly October Friday that had seen good stretches of rain for hours. She made a great call; it wasn't even a ten minute queue, and the ride --- always fun --- is also gorgeous by night. And, as sometimes happens when the hours is late and the line short, they started letting people skip the queue and ride again. So we could see the night out marathoning a thrilling, beautiful roller coaster. And walk back across the short width of the park, enjoying the lights of the park after closing reflected in the many puddles on concrete. We paused outside the Oceana exit, enjoying the sea --- well, the Lake --- by night, and went in to a room that wasn't quite as warm as we imagined could be.

Trivia: In June 1943 General David Eisenhower requested ``three million bottled Coca-Cola (filled) and complete equipment for boiling, washing, capping same quantity twice monthly'' for the campaign in North Africa. Production was under way in North Africa in six months. Source: A History of the World in Six Glasses, Tom Standage.

Currently Reading: And Chaos Died, Joanna Russ.

PS: approaching the institution closing in Ann Arbor, passing along the way other institutions in Ann Arbor, not closing.

SAM_1014.jpg

The State Theatre, half of what was formerly a sidewalk palace theatre, under renovation. It's since reopened. The first floor was turned into a store, but the second is still a working theater. Several working theaters now, I understand.


SAM_1019.jpg

And heading down Liberty Street: the Dawn Treader Book Shop, just what you'd expect it to be.


SAM_1025.jpg

Le Dog: a small hot dog shop that figures heavily in bunny_hugger's recollections of part of Ann Arbor, especially since it was right outside the arcade she liked playing at, but that I don't believe I have ever seen open.


Tags: ann arbor, halloweekends
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