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Pinball Wizards

Herb’s blog, Herbdate 16313-002:

Okay, here is the truth about that fateful day in, oh, what, 1978 or 1979 when Carter King’s pinball machine was tilted. First, let me tell you that pinball was not yet the computerized, digital annoyance that it is today. It used to be a mechanical device of marvelous engineering and invention. You put in your quarter and the steel ball would pop up and a combination of physics, skills, knowledge and luck would come into play all to the sounds of little levers and real bells and clicking counters. Even the counter on the machine we used at Dehn’s Diner and Ice Cream shop in Shawano, WI was mechanical. It didn’t go into a bunch of false millions, either. It had space for 6 digits and that was it. You would just lightly, barely, just ever so slightly nudge the machine and move the ball by an almost invisible fraction to make its trajectory change and hit a bumper just so. The flipper action, the rails, oh, it was a marvel of technology and a thing of beauty. Computer games and digitized pinball or the perverse PC pinball games where you bump and nudge using keyboard keys are just not the same as the real thing.

Now, if you hit it or nudged it too hard or tried to pick up the machine to keep the ball from rolling, it would buzz and a large red light would come on that said, “TILT!” Tilting was and still is considered the most heinous crime in all of pinballdom. Or was until this point in time.

Carter was never much of a pinball player and i used to beat him thoroughly at it. Years and years went by and although he watched “Tommy,” by The Who, 497 times in a row, he was never able to figure out how to beat me. He was certain that i secretly manipulated the little steel ball using my magnetic personality and could get it to do almost anything it could for me. Hmmm, i guess this is an exaggeration, but the next paragraph is a confession of such a low and heinous crime of most vile proportion that i must steel my self-esteem against it. I am about to confess to such a crime that could only be paid by a sentence of death and 2/3 of my allowance.

You see, one day Carter had started having a good day. On this machine, rolling over the score to 100,000 at all was a feat to admired and revered among the local players. This usually took all 5 balls and a earning a couple of free balls as well. Carter had reached 110,000 points on his second ball. Then…well…i…er…ummm…ah…well, felt threatened by it all and…er…tilted the machine. boos and hisses abound as the disgusted crowd walks away, sadly shaking their heads, saying things like, “i knew he was no good,” “What a vile reprobate,” “What a sorry sack of something,” and etc.

Okay, so now the story has been told. The truth is out to the entire world wide community. I am a louse and i owe Carter King an apology of the deepest, most sincere sort and someday i will actually apologize, but not today. I saved my crown and that is all that matters! Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Okay, okay, the truth is, i really am sorry, Critter, but my evil twin captured me and made me recant my apology. The truth is, i was pushed by the aliens that lived in the walls at Dehn’s Diner. You can’t deny there were aliens at Dehn’s, otherwise how could you explain the food?

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