The Hellhole

Sunday, June 26, 2011

So, our neighbor left and her fridge is in our garage. Things didn't work as she'd planned, though, so there was no dolly or lift. She, Alan and her two kids carried it across our yards to the garage where it waits to be relocated for a different set of friends who are helping us kitchen it. And wow, how much of a girly-girl am I (okay, I know I'm totally a girly-girl) that two people I'd never met before assigned me the task of holding the plastic ice and water tubes while other people toted the entire huge fridge across acreage?!? I don't know if I'm relieved or insulted.

Last night we went here for a Metafilter meet-up. I read Metafilter but am not a member, so I went mostly for the husband. It was cool, a new place we'd not heard of, nice people we'd otherwise not have met, tasty food and a Newcastle Brown (I'm tellin' you will sure smack you down) - a good time.

Today, chores and stuff around the house. I spent the morning cleaning carpets, which really equates to fighting the carpet shampooer into doing that which it is supposed to do (mostly unsuccessfully) and it was really gross seeing how gray and nasty the water was. If there is a mess or a stain, I deal with it, but it was kinda gross seeing how filthy things got just through day-to-day living here. Then I played some video games which didn't go well, because in all the games I am currently playing, I am stuck on various bosses and cannot progress. Grrr,

Which brings me to this: have I ever told you guys how I became a (very very very local) video game legend? No? Oooh, allow me to pontificate! Okay, so this was back in the mid-80s when video games came in these self-contained "cabinets", kids, and the way you played them was to insert items from an obsolete gil system which were called "quarters" or "tokens". So there was this place that was very much like Chuck E. Cheese, without actually being Chuck E. Cheese, because I think at that point Chuck E. Cheese only existed in California but we lived in Georgia, but other people had the same idea and stuff. I'm pretty sure it was called Showbiz Pizza, and besides pizza and video games they also had those animatronic animals that played songs. So anyway, my younger sibling had a birthday party, and I had to go even though I was too old to have anything in common with them and was bored out of my skull and probably humiliated (because I was a teenager) to even be seen at said sibling's birthday party.

So there was a birthday party going on, I was over-aged and bored, so I collected my share of tokens and went to play TEMPEST. I ran up a pretty high score, then decided to beat that high score, then set out to beat that one. If I recall correctly, I suddenly was 6th, then kept trying to beat that score and beat that score. I eventually got the highest score (I'm #1! I'm #1!) and tried to beat that one (which I did) and kept trying to beat my own best time.

Now, fast forward several years from my brother being in elementary school at the time of the party, to one of his friends being old enough to drive and have a part-time job. As it happens, the friend, Ryan, got a job at Showbiz Pizza and one day related to my brother that he'd been cleaning or rearranging or something the video game machines, and the TEMPEST machine still had a number one high score belonging to "HEL", and wasn't that his sister, and wasn't that amazing after like a decade?!?

Yes, yes it is. Yes, yes it was.


  • I used to love Tempest too - there was something about the spinny-dial controller that you don't get playing it on emulators nowadays.

    By Blogger neil h, at 4:38 PM  

  • That's awesome! Good thing you didn't have some common name so as to be easily mistaken for someone else.

    By Blogger basil, at 6:35 AM  

  • Neil - I know, right? I got a PS2 disk that had dozens (maybe hundreds) of old classic Arcade games on it like Centipede and Pac-Man and Tempest, but it's just not as satisfying using a joystick instead of that spinning dial.

    Basil - yeah, for whatever reason I always entered "HEL" on video games instead of my initials (HMB). Now here at home where I often have more characters to choose from I often use "Hellybeans". My character in Elder Scrolls: Oblivion is "Helzebub". There were a couple more of my high scores still in the top ten, I don't recall how many, but the important one was still #1!

    By Blogger Helly, at 7:54 PM  

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