May 5th, 2015

krazy koati

Hold onto your breath, hold onto your heart, hold onto your hope

So bunny_hugger had to struggle out of the Losers' Bracket and maybe get back to the top of the ``B'' division she'd started with. Since I'd already lost my two matches for the night I had nothing to do but watch her. This came into play because she hit an Indiana Jones shot that drained, and walked away from the table without realizing the ball had been saved. (If you hit the center targets and the ball immediately drains on the left side, the game gives you the ball back. It's a bit of a kludge but the best they could do.) She hadn't realized the ball was saved, and I called her over and hit a flipper to keep the ball in play. I tell myself I would have done the same for the opponent. Anyway, the easily-forgotten lesson is never walk away from a pinball machine until the bonus starts collecting. But the ball was saved, and she went on to score quite a good bit afterwards, and she won that game and, ultimately, that match. I believe she'd have won even without the score she put up on that saved ball, but it would have been a much closer-run thing.

But the thing is, she won. And she won again, beating the same player. And since she was in a four-person division, playing a double-elimination round, this meant she had to beat him one more match. That is, she ultimately played five matches and four of them were against the same guy. They got to know each other's foibles extremely well. They needed all three games for each of their matches.

And for the final match --- after they'd won one game each --- bunny_hugger wanted to play her favorite, FunHouse, naturally. But it had started malfunctioning, not locking balls, which throws the game off. And her opponent was hemming and hawing about whether he was all right playing with the game in that state. I think he was trying to establish that he was fine with a minor malfunction but not a major one and whether a ball not locking was a major one would depend on the game and it just sounded like a lot of dithering. He agreed to play it as long as the game didn't malfunction.

But it did. The ball lock didn't work, once for bunny_hugger and once for him, and so they voided the game. bunny_hugger had the chance to pick a replacement. For this final game, she picked The Walking Dead. She's gotten pretty reliably good on the table at our local hipster bar, able to get forty million points reliably. This time, on this table, on these tournament settings, she slumped to a meager 7.8 million points. Her opponent would have to put up a miserable game to lose to that. But he had a lousy game, and his score ... it was in the seven millions. His last ball drained too fast, and his bonus rang up and the game went to the screen match for a free game right away. We weren't sure who won.

bunny_hugger did.

By under a hundred thousand points she won the final match, and the B Division crown.

She squealed, and jumped up and down, and hugged everyone she could, and then felt bad for her opponent. He said he wasn't offended, because she was just so joyed. And she was; she wasn't gloating, she just was overcome with the thrill of having won, and after such a struggle, including round after round of play against the same guy.

And that's how bunny_hugger came to be the first holder of a solo pinball trophy in our house.

Our friend MWS would fight his way out of the Loser's Brackets too, and would be in the finals match against the guy who ultimately knocked me out. MWS would take second place. The guy who knocked me out would take first, and the guy who first beat me would come in third place. Considering the people who beat me ended up first and third in the league I don't actually feel better about my performance, but there's nothing to do but grumble a while and then move on.

bunny_hugger had joked long ago her ambition now was to drink shots out of a pinball trophy. She had one now. And it's one easy to drink out of, since it's a mug. When we got home she picked out something or other from our small but vintage set of cheap liquor, and took a swig, and grimaced because it set her eyes on fire. Know therefore the dangers of championship pinball.

Trivia: The Versailles Treaty compelled Germany to import from Poland for five years an amount of goods equal to what had been bought from the former German areas before the war, and for three years to buy an amount equivalent to good coming from Polish Silesia. Germany retaliated with an undeclared boycott against Polish goods. Source: A Low Dishonest Decade: The Great Powers, Eastern Europe, and the Economic Origins of World War II, 1930 - 1941, Paul N Hehn.

Currently Reading: User Unfriendly: Consumer Struggles with Personal Technologies, from Clocks and Sewing Machines to Cars and Computers, Joseph J Corn.