Masquerade! Every face a different shade
I'd use the Fear and Trembling pin-golf tournament as another chance to venture out in scare-crow costume. It had turned out, at league, that I could play quite well with a face-covering crow mask so I just left that on, and I ended up leaving it on all through Fear and Trembling. So some of the participants never got to see my actual face all night.
And we got new players in! Which is a mercy. bunny_hugger and MWS and I were the only people from Lansing League who attended. KEC, who tries to get to everything --- she made it to more than 70 sanctioned tournaments in 2017 --- but can't normally make our league, attended. That's not much of a turnout. But the venue had asked for a poster that they could print out and hang up, and they talked it up on their Facebook page. Six people who'd never played at any pinball events there before --- five of whom had never played anything sanctioned by the International Flipper Pinball Association --- showed up, curious and willing. And so we had a small but acceptably-sized tournament after all.
A hard one, too. I made what turns out to be the mistake everyone does when they set out pin-golf objectives. That is, I set them too hard. Well, they didn't seem hard when I was testing the week before to see if they were possible. And I figured we'd likely get some of the league regulars, including some of the best in the state, in. They'd need some challenges.
Still, for being a bunch of people who hadn't played competitively before, or hadn't played competitively much, they didn't do badly. For one, nobody bottomed out, failing to meet any objective. For another, two of the newcomers finished in the top four, going on to the finals. And at least they said that while they were challenged, the challenges were fun, and that the cards I printed up explaining how to get to the objectives were just the right amount of needed instruction.
I discovered one outright mistake in the objectives. For Ghostbusters I'd set goals of scoring a certain minimum on the Proton Pack or the River of Slime shots. These are two minor objectives nobody goes for on purpose. But you can build the scores and then collect them, so, build the scores to a set minimum and collecting them was sensible. But, you can collect these as many times as you like over the course of the game. Did you have to get a five million point Proton Pack in one shot, or was it enough if you shot it for less than give million points several times over? It seemed to me, fair enough if you do it in shooting the Proton Pack cumulatively. But there's no score display of your cumulative Proton Pack (or River of Slime) score. Asking people to get a certain value is fine enough. Asking people to remember they shot Proton Pack for 1,667,000 and 1,250,000 and 2,125,000 and 850,000 and does that add up to five million or more? No fair, and the hole was kind of a wash for that.
And, to my amazement, I was one of the four finalists.
The finals were, again, some pin-golf objectives, although in this case it was on three games and there was just the one objective per game. I'd prepared alternates but bunny_hugger wanted ... well, stuff to be resolved. In case of ties --- and ties are very plausible in pin-golf, especially in just three games played --- the winner would be the one with the lower score. The thinking being, low scores would be a good proxy for getting to the objective fast. This would constrain me in the last table, Attack From Mars, since the objective there was to collect a five-way combo. That is, five major shots, each followed quickly by the next. Finally I gave up and started multiball, creating a lot of score but also, with all those balls in play, giving me the chance to register combos easier.
And that would do it: I won the finals, and came out with first place. My first first-place finish on one of bunny_hugger's tournaments. Also only my second ever first-place finish on anything. And without ever showing my face. I should play masked more often.
Trivia: For the 1912 Christmas season the Wanamaker department store in New York City for the first time installed a ``Fairyland'', decorating the toy department sales floor with ``impressive green dragons [ and ] plaster heads of comic figures''. This instead of the ordinary ``distinctly businesslike atmosphere'' of the past.
Source: The Kid of Coney Island: Fred Thompson and the Rise of American Amusements, Woody Register.
Currently Reading: The Best of Judith Merril, Judith Merril. Editors Virginia Kidd, Victoria Schochet.
PS: Coming to the end of Six Flags over Texas.
bunny_hugger getting an evening ride in on the carousel.
Animatronic Cyborg, or if you prefer, Cyborg Animatronic, giving the introduction and part of the safety spiel at the Hall of Justice interactive dark ride which we, after listening to the incredibly long back-and-forth between him and Joker or Riddler or Whoever, didn't get to ride. The thing shut down for something or other and they couldn't promise it would come back up but we were welcome to wait, and chose to do other stuff instead.
What we chose: a closing couple of rides on Judge Roy Scream, to see the night out as we saw the day in.