Friday, February 02, 2007

A Mean Pinball

Tales of the Arabian Nights
Tales of the Arabian Nights,
originally uploaded by erink.
The beau was out looking at a pinball machine for sale, and I was thinking he had been gone a long time when I heard from him. He was on his way home and he needed help with two things. He had actually bought the machine and needed help getting it inside. But first, he had cut a big gash in his hand and needed first aid.

I was only slightly surprised that he'd bought the thing. His buddy from back home had come to help, and he has a new pickup truck and a lot of expertise in the field, so given the right price and condition there was no reason not to do it.

The gash was rather more surprising. Apparently the house they were moving the machine from had dogs, and instead of opening the gate the guys had just taken to vaulting over the fence. They each made it, once. The second time my beau tried it he hit something nasty on the fence and sliced his thumb open pretty good.

Did you know trucks come with first aid kits now? At least this one did. So they tied up the wound and drove home and it had not quite soaked through the 5 layers of gauze by the time they got here.

We washed it off and found some scissors to remove the 1" thumbprint-shaped flap that was hanging off - I would have left it, but it was pretty dirty and washing it wasn't very easy. Or pleasant. It was kind of still dripping, so we used most of the rest of the roll of gauze to wrap it so we could move the machine inside and get it set up.

If you have never moved a pinball machine, well, here are some things you might not know. The legs come off. It's fairly heavy. The top folds down onto of the playfield area. The standard procedure is to get a set of sawhorses to substitute for the legs while you're moving it. Once you get the machine pretty close to where it's going you put the legs back on. Being the smallest and weakest of the three, my job was to run around with the sawhorses while the guys carried the pinball machine up the steps to the house and up to the second floor where we keep such things. If we ever move the pinball room to the third floor we're going to have to hire someone. My job also included running back and forth between the second floor and the basement to get tools we needed, and actually measuring the spaces where we wanted to put it. So, you see, this way I get some sweat equity without doing anything hard.

We probably should put that door back on the hinges sometime.

While I was helping put on the legs I got a nasty metal splinter. We joked about how the machine wanted blood, but I felt it was only fair that it bite me too, since we were all going to be living together. And I actually didn't bleed, though I did need to take the splinter out before I did more work.

So, fine. The men tinker with the machine for a few hours and get it all set up. We get some dinner. We play a few games. It's fun. The buddy heads home.

We spend some time orchestrating high-tech band-aids for the long-term dressings on the thumb. Band-Aid makes these "advanced healing" ones now that are thick and you're supposed to leave them on for a few days at a time. On his thumb they keep peeling up after a day, but we figure they're probably the best bet. 3M makes some "Nexcare waterproof" bandages that are also good for hands because you can typically wash over them without getting them wet on the inside - these are the step-down plan.

So Monday comes, my beau goes to work, and Monday afternoon I lose a ball deep in the back of the machine. I'm a little intimidated about pulling the glass out (the glass is big, and breaking the glass is bad) and the machine won't play until it finds the ball, so I wait for him to come home. The first step in opening the machine up is to open the coin door and release the latch to take the glass off, so he reaches in front to open the door.

And then he says a bad word and goes to the bathroom. (I wanted to say "pulls back a bloody stump" but it wasn't really that bad.) He's got a deep cut in the side of his index finger, right on the side of the nail. See, the lock on the door is missing, and he reached in to the empty hole to pull open the door. There's a sharp edge on the inside and it sliced right in. It bleeds pretty good. Luckily we already have all the first aid stuff out....

So now we're both a little nervous about this new machine. How often will it demand a blood sacrifice? Why was the previous owner so eager to get rid of it? Are we secretly in a Night Gallery episode? (If we had bought the Twilight Zone machine we looked at earlier, would our mystery have a better script and classier themes?)


The Wax Lion said...

Next time I come to visit, I ain't touching the thing. It's obviously a devil machine.

So do you actually have TWO of them, or is that a picture from some other location? And aren't you supposed to be out here visiting now, anyway? The weather's great, you should come.

erin said...

Yes, there are two. I did advertise the Lord of the Rings machine when I offered my place for the re-onion, right?

The weather there couldn't be any worse than it is here, I suppose!