Because the Day is Slipping Away
Hey! Hey! We're the Monkees!

TILT!

Soundtrack today. . .

Ever since he was a young boy. . .  he played the silver ball. . .

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Tom is many things.  Chemist.  Fisherman.  Runner.  Beer snob.  Hockey fan.  Curler.  Sudoku master.  Frisbee player.  Foodie.  Writer.  Father. 

But before he was any of those things. . . he was a Pinball Wizard!  Apparently, as a boy, he saved all his money (from paper routes and his allowance and lawn mowing) to play pinball.  And, well, some things never fade away.  So, last Saturday, I took him to Pinball at the Zoo -- a pinball convention held right here in Kalamazoo.*  (We had to sift ourselves through the patrons of the Antique Show and those of the Exotic Reptile Show being held in the same venue!)

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It was heaven for Tom -- and for all the other Pinball Geeks (most of them men. . . of a certain age).

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(That's the Pinball Wizard, himself, there -- 2nd from the right -- wearing a brown ball cap.)

Now, we haven't been to an event in a long, long time that required a wristband. . .

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but this wristband entitled us to play any pinball game in the show -- because all the games were set for free play.  It was amusing for me to watch the guys -- all jockeying for their shot at the games.  They were trying to be polite; they were taking turns; it was a very civilized kind of playtime.  But.  You could see it in their eyes.  Must.  Touch. The. Flippers.  Now!!!!

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Some of the machines were very "old school."

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There were several vendors selling parts and pieces and bulbs and springs, and there was plenty of repairing and fine-tuning going on.

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I'm always amazed by "The Women of Pinball". . .

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(Analyzing this topic - in tandem with with it's video game cousin - seems like it might be the perfect cultural studies/English/gamer-girl's ticket to graduate school. . .)

Saving the best for last, Tom got to try out a Brand New Pinball Game!!!  This one did NOT feature big-busted woman. . . but it did appeal to another part of a man's brain with . . . Big Guns.  The game was called Big Buck Hunter Pro, and even I must admit, it was pretty darn entertaining!  Pinball games have come a lot way over the years.

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Tom especially loved the multi-ball action on this game! 

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It was a great afternoon -- even if I don't play pinball.  It was fun to watch Tom.  He. . . sure plays a mean pinball!

*In Kalamazoo, the term ". . .at the Zoo" is horribly overused.  I guess it can't be helped, when the name of your community is so, well, obviously suited to clever linkages and naming opportunities.  I mean, we have "This at that Zoo," "That at the Zoo," "Whatever at the Zoo," . . . you name it, it happens "in the Zoo."

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